In 1914, Antonio Puig Castelló founded the company which still bears his name today, Antonio Puig S.A. From its very beginnings it was dedicated to the sector of perfumery and cosmetics, but it was not until 1922 that it launched a product made by the company itself. This product was Milady, and it had the added distinction of being the first lipstick to be made in Spain. He married and had four children: Antonio, Mariano, José María and Enrique.
Antonio Puig Castelló had always been a man interested in art, and this caused him to cultivate the acquaintance of the leading artists of the day. This interest also lead to the creation of a publicity department within the company.
1940 saw the appearance of one of the company's most emblematic products, Agua Lavanda Puig. The raw materials used in its production such as rosemary, spike lavender, lavender and lemon came entirely from within Spain due to the fact that the country was closed to imports and at that time totally self-sufficient. The launch of Lavanda Puig was a great success and the product gained an important position in the market. The birth of this product confirmed the company's innovative talent; a talent that has been carefully maintained from the very beginning to the present day.
The company's business was growing and it became necessary to look for new premises. Thus, in 1942, Antonio Puig moved the company's factory and headquarters to a building on Travessera de Gràcia (Barcelona) and this building remains in use today, providing the headquarters for the Puig Beauty & Fashion Group.
With the incorporation of the second generation into the family businesses came the first significant change of management mentality. Antonio and Mariano involved themselves in the perfumery business, José María dedicated himself to the various diversification businesses and Enrique took charge of institutional relations. Now, Antonio Puig Castelló delegated decision making to his four sons, and new management mechanisms were established. In this way, the transition from one generation to the next was accomplished gradually during the life of the founder, who bequeathed his company vision and values to his sons.
The business continued to evolve, and in the 1960s a new factory was built in the Besós Industrial Park (Barcelona), and all production moved to this new site.
It was at this time that the keys to the Group's future expansion were defined:
The creation of a team of people, not simply with talent, but also in tune with the culture and values of a family company.
- Product quality. This meant the creation of the perfumery and cosmetics laboratories. The company has worked closely with research laboratories and conducts own research principally in the field of marketing. Additionally, the company is innovative in the application of industrial design to its products, working with the top contemporary designers.
- Internationalisation. This lead to the creation of the first company outside Spain in 1959, in the USA. In 1968, the company was established in Paris, reaching an agreement with the groundbreaking designer Paco Rabanne to incorporate the brand into the Group. 1976 saw the construction of the perfume factory in Chartres.
In New York in the mid-80s an agreement was signed with the designer Carolina Herrera for the creation and promotion of fragrances bearing her name.
Until now, the company's evolution had been based on strong organic growth.
The 1980's drew to a close with the end of the cold war and the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the world was becoming ever more globalised. In this new environment the decision was taken to strengthen growth through acquisitions in order to achieve sufficient a critical mass.
On an internal level, measures were taken to guarantee the Group's continuity and ensure that it would continue to run smoothly. Management structures were made more professional and control mechanisms were established to regulate the relationship between shareholders and the business.
In this new era, growth was key, and thus new sectors were entered, diversifying the product portfolio with cosmetics and personal care products.
In 1995 the Spanish brand Genesse became part of the Group and then a share of Perfumería Gal was acquired. In order to develop production capacity, a new factory dedicated to skin care products was built in Vacarisses (Barcelona).
In this same year, the Group increased its relationship with Carolina Herrera with the incorporation of her fashion division.
In 1996 a new stage in the generational transition began. The birth of the holding Puig Beauty & Fashion Group was a great step forward, including the perfumery, cosmetics and fashion businesses. The second generation passed on power to the Excom, an executive structure composed of three family members from the third generation and one non-family member. They shared responsibilities according to geographical areas and reported directly to the board of the holding company. The stages of transition and the strategies for the future were also defined in a ten-year plan.
In 1998 Nina Ricci (both perfumery and fashion) became part of the Group.
The system continued to evolve and in the year 2000 Javier Cano was named Chief Executive Officer. The decision was taken to structure the company's activity in three divisions according to business activity: Prestige Beauty Brands, Fragrances & Personal Care and Fashion. The president of each division would report directly to Javier Cano.
In the year 2000 Puig Beauty & Fashion acquired the Spanish company Myrurgia and in 2001 completed the acquisition of Perfumería Gal, in which the Group had held an important significant share since 1995.
For the last decade, as a result of continual growth and internationalisation, the Puig group net sales have increased fivefold, rising from 180m€ to 914m€. More than half of the group's sales currently occur in international markets and the Group's products are distributed in more than 150 countries around the world.
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