DOUGLAS at a glance
DOUGLAS IS THE NO.1 OMNI-CHANNEL BEAUTY DESTINATION IN EUROPE
Since its beginnings in Hamburg, DOUGLAS’ story is marked by advancements and growth. Under the umbrella of the former Hussel Holding, DOUGLAS makes a first step towards international expansion in 1973 acquiring Parfümerie Ruttner in Austria. In the 1980s, store openings and further acquisitions follow in the Netherlands, France and Italy. Further DOUGLAS stores open in eastern Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Portugal during the 1990s. From 2001, DOUGLAS is also present in Poland, Hungary and Monaco. In the years of 2003 until 2011 DOUGLAS maintains perfumeries in Slovenia. In 2004, DOUGLAS enters the Czech and Danish markets. A year later, the company opens perfumeries in Slovakia. The Baltics and Romania join DOUGLAS’ market portfolio in 2007, as well as Bulgaria and Croatia a year later. In 2014, the company takes over the French perfumery chain Nocibé, further strengthening and expanding on its position in the French market. Major acquisitions follow in 2017 and 2018, when DOUGLAS takes over Bodybell, Perfumerías IF in Spain as well as Limoni and La Gardenia in Italy. Apart from its international expansion, DOUGLAS also continues to grow in its home market, Germany. In 2018, the company takes over the majority of Parfümerie Akzente and its successful online shop parfumdreams.
In addition to acquiring a majority stake in NICHE BEAUTY, DOUGLAS launches an exclusive partner program in 2019 making it the first marketplace for beauty products in Europe. Following a strong start in its German home market, the marketplace will be rolled out successively on an international scale. In 2020, DOUGLAS specifically continues to push the development of its successful #FORWARDBEAUTY strategy programme ahead and starts integrating online shops, marketplace and stores into a data-based beauty platform, thus focussing its growth strategy on digital beauty retail.
In 2023, DOUGLAS unveils its strategy program ‘Let it Bloom – DOUGLAS 2026’ which aims to accelerate DOUGLAS’ growth path. With ‘Let it Bloom’ the company puts the customer at the heart of its activities and sharpens its omni-channel positioning. DOUGLAS invests in the customer journey across stores and E-Commerce. The company further strengthens brand perception and visibility, elevates its assortment, finetunes operational efficiency and grows the shared company culture and values.
We open all eyes to the beauty of uniqueness, bring it to life and make life itself more beautiful.
For a world where everyone feels seen, heard and valued.
DOUGLAS is Europe’s leading omnichannel beauty destination. We inspire customers to live their own kind of beauty by offering a unique assortment in online stores, via a partner program and in around 1,840 stores. Strengthening our successful omnichannel positioning while consistently developing the customer experience is at the heart of our strategy. In its fiscal year 2021/22, DOUGLAS generated sales of 3.65 billion euros with a focus on fragrances, make-up, skin care, hair care, health care and accessories. Through the launch of the first European marketplace for beauty products with an exclusive partner programme in 2019, DOUGLAS expands its online offering with the products of exclusively selected partners, thus offering the largest product portfolio in Europe. Whether premium industry brands, high-quality exclusive brands, independent trend and niche brands, the DOUGLAS Collection or new own brands that are sold exclusively by DOUGLAS: Our product variety makes the DOUGLAS assortment an important success factor.
Every day, around 18,000 dedicated DOUGLAS beauty experts strive to make our customers more beautiful and thus happier with excellent consultation and unique services: We believe that people are most beautiful when they have the self-confidence to be how they want to be. As leading premium omnichannel beauty destination in Europe, DOUGLAS wants to take a clear stance on beauty. We want to encourage and inspire all of our customers to express their own kind of beauty – something that is more individual than ever today. We encourage our customers to make themselves beautiful for their own pleasure. It is not about other people’s expectations.
Douglas ’ products – such as “Coconut Oil Soda Soap” developed in 1830 or “Chinese Heavenly Soap” from 1840 – quickly turned into success stories. Chinese Heavenly Soap was awarded a medal at the first World Fair in London in 1851. “J.S. Douglas Sons” stood for high-quality fine soaps and modern product ideas. After Douglas’ death, the Hamburg merchants Gustav Adolph Hinrich Runge and Johann Adolph Kolbe took over the company but kept the name “J.S. Douglas Sons”. In 1909, their heir and successor handed over the responsibilities for the soap factory to his wife.
FEMALE LEADERSHIP SINCE1909
FROM THE FIRST PERFUMERY TO AN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION
SUCCESSFUL GROWTH IN EUROPE SINCE 1973
Due to the growing success of its perfumery branch, Hussel Holding AG restructures its organisation and creates Douglas Holding AG, which replaces the former Hussel Holding AG in 1989. From the mid-90s, DOUGLAS expands to Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. From the 2000s, DOUGLAS is also present in Poland, Hungary, Monaco, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Denmark and Croatia. In addition to its rapidly growing store network, DOUGLAS opens its first own online shop in 2000. In the following years, further shops go online in DOUGLAS’ international markets. In 2011, DOUGLAS expands its online offerings via its own app.
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP AND STRATEGIC REALIGNMENT
After the successful takeover by Advent International in 2013, the delisting of Douglas Holding AG follows. The withdrawal from the stock market marks the beginning of the conglomerate’s reorientation, a step in which it began to focus completely on beauty retail as its core business once again in 2014. As such, DOUGLAS remains on its course of international expansion, acquiring the French perfumery chain Nocibé. While a renewed stock market launch for the Parfümerie Douglas Deutschland is planned for 2015, 85 per cent of the company is sold on 1 June 2016 to financial investor CVC Capital Partners, with the Kreke family still holding a minority share of 15 per cent. Thereupon, the company’s headquarters moves in October from Hagen to Düsseldorf, Germany. Also, the DOUGLAS online shop offices move to Düsseldorf, in order to concentrate both store-oriented departments and online activities in one place. DOUGLAS also remains on its expansion course, expanding its European position by acquiring Bodybell and Perfumerías IF in Spain as well as Limoni and La Gardenia in Italy in 2017.
Furthermore, DOUGLAS boosts its E-Commerce business by acquiring Parfümerie Akzente and its successful online shop parfumdreams in August 2018. 2019 follows the acquisition of a majority stake in NICHE BEAUTY. At the same time, DOUGLAS launches an exclusive partner programme making it the first marketplace for beauty products in Europe. Following a strong start in its German home market, the marketplace will be rolled out successively on an international scale. In 2020, DOUGLAS specifically continues to push the development of its successful #FORWARDBEAUTY strategy programme ahead. Based on the philosophy of DIGITAL FIRST, DOUGLAS integrates online shops, marketplace and stores into a data-based beauty platform, thus focussing its growth strategy on digital beauty retail. DIGITAL FIRST is the decisive step from a retailer with an online shop to a digital company with a brick-and-mortar business. In doing so, DOUGLAS continues to expand its position as the No. 1 beauty destination to become the leading beauty retailer in Europe.
Let it Bloom - DOUGLAS 2026
The program puts customers at the centre of the business model. To enhance its customer journey, DOUGLAS invests into its unparalleled product assortment and overall efficiency – with a special focus on the supply chain and the technological backbone. DOUGLAS sharpens its omni-channel positioning and commits to targeted investments into its store network – including modernization, expansion within existing markets and into new markets – as well as into the online shop and partner program. At the same time, the company invests in its brand perception. The strategy program is based on the shared culture and values of DOUGLAS which is actively fostered by the company.