Kiehl’s is an American cosmetics brand retailer that specializes in premium skin, hair, and body care products like Midnight Recovery Concentrate, Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado and Ultra Facial Cream. It started as a single pharmacy in Manhattan at Third Avenue and East 13th Street in 1851.
Founded in 1851 by John Kiehl, Kiehl’s began as a homeopathic pharmacy located at 3rd Avenue and 13th Street in the East Village of New York City. In 1921, Irving Morse, a former apprentice and Russian Jewish émigré who had studied pharmacology at Columbia University, purchased the store. Morse was involved in the development of many Kiehl’s products that are still popular today, including Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion and Creme de Corps.
Kiehl’s was purchased by the L’Oréal Group in 2000 and currently has more than 250 retail stores worldwide, and over 1,000 points of sale supplemented by sales in high-end department stores, select airport locations, as well as independent stockists. In contrast to its market competitors, Kiehl’s is distinguished for its unorthodox marketing approach, exceptionally large male clientele base, and its products’ simple and straightforward packaging.
L’Oréal had pursued the purchase of the company for more than two years but the real catalyst for a deal came when Kiehl’s had difficulty handling the growing volume of orders due to the company’s growing popularity. Morse Heidegger, then president of Kiehl’s, said, “We took a long hard look at the situation, and we felt that in order to keep up with the demand, in order to not be out of stock, in order to fulfill our destiny, if you will, we needed to take on a partner.”