L'Oréal markets 32 brands of cosmetics, fragrances, and hair care products in 130 countries. The company's international strategy involves manufacturing these products in 40 plants located around the world. L'Oréal's international strategy is discussed in its operations section of the company's website (http://www.loreal.com/careers/who-you-can-be/operations) and in its press releases, annual reports, and presentations. Why has the company chosen to pursue a foreign subsidiary strategy? Are there strategic advantages to global sourcing and production in the cosmetics, fragrances, and hair care products industry relative to an export strategy?
In the strategy L’Oréal chose the firms must exploit experience curve cost economies and location economies, transfer distinctive skills within the firm and pay attention for pressures for localization. They need global learning in which flows of knowledge from the parent to subsidiaries, flow from foreign subsidiaries to the national country, and from foreign subsidiaries to foreign subsidiaries. When demands for local responsiveness are low, a global strategy may still be the most appropriate. Due to the industry leaders acquiring a variety of cosmetics, hair and beauty companies, consumers have the choice of variety of substitute products, which results in lowers the industry’s attractiveness and limits the prices. However, in order to overcome the issues L’Oréal have established an impressive image based on values of the products and allowing them to set higher price compared to their competitors.