Merle Norman Cosmetics

Cosmetics and skin-care products
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Franchise 500 2023
2023 Franchise 500 Rank
N/R Not ranked last year
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Initial investment
$38K - $178K
Units as of 2021
1,007 Decrease 11% over 3 years

Imagine owning and running a skincare and cosmetics retail business. Sound like fun? If you're passionate about fashion and beauty, opening a Merle Norman Cosmetics franchise might be perfect for you.

The Great Depression didn't deter the glamorous Merle Norman from beginning a beauty products business. In 1931, she pioneered a 'try before you buy' strategy that helped her grow even when other brands were closing shop. A few years later, she empowered other women to start their businesses by selling her products in their studios. 

In 1973, Merle Norman Cosmetics began franchising. It boasts hundreds of locations across the United States and Canada.

Why You May Want to Start a Merle Norman Cosmetics Franchise

Over 80 years after its inception, Merle Norman Cosmetics still strives to offer reputable and top-of-the-line products that cater to customer needs. Today, franchisees with Merle Norman Cosmetics have opened their own exclusive cosmetics locations.

The company may use a state-of-the-art control unit to ensure the best value for franchisees. With its efficient way of developing, manufacturing, and packaging its products, franchisees have been able to keep customers coming back.

To be part of the Merle Norman Cosmetics team, you should make sure you’re financially ready for an initial investment made up of startup costs. Franchisees will also need to meet the company's set net worth and liquid capital requirements.

What Might Make Merle Norman Cosmetics a Good Choice?

The company usually offers three main ways to open a franchise. The first way is to open a Merle Norman Cosmetics studio in a high-traffic location like a mall, standalone building, or strip center. Its franchisees may edge out the competition as they offer high-quality products in a convenient location. 

Besides starting your own Merle Norman Cosmetics franchise from scratch, you may also choose to purchase an existing cosmetic studio. This could be a good way to start, as you typically get an established location and existing client base.

Finally, you may add a Merle Norman Cosmetics franchise to your existing business. The company tries to help you enhance your retail experience by offering high-demand products. A Merle Norman Cosmetics franchise may work well in conjunction with boutiques, gift shops, salons, jewelry stores, pharmacies, and beauty product retail shops.

How to Open a Merle Norman Franchise

You might start with a small studio that fits your budget in a strip center, mall, or free-standing store. Moreover, the Merle Norman Cosmetics corporate team may provide you with marketing advertisements. This may include radio advertisements, print advertisements, posters, and brochures.

The company's effective marketing strategy may be the community relation approach through special meetings, newsletters, and phone hotlines. They generally offer free samples of new products to attract more customers.

The franchisor might help you select a suitable location, negotiate the lease, and create the studio design. Your staff typically will undergo training to familiarize themselves with the wide range of products you may sell to your customers. Point-of-sale software and annual continuing education conferences may help franchisees run their business efficiently. Are you ready to find your place in this beauty empire?

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Company Overview

About Merle Norman Cosmetics

Industry Retail
Related Categories Miscellaneous Retail Businesses
Founded 1931
Parent Company Merle Norman Cosmetics Inc.
Leadership Jack Nethercutt, CEO
Corporate Address 9130 Bellanca Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Social Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest

Business Overview

Franchising Since 1973 (50 years)
# of employees at HQ 234
Where seeking

This company is offering new franchisees throughout the US.

# of Units 1,007 (as of 2021)

Information for Franchisees

Here's what you need to know if you're interested in opening a Merle Norman Cosmetics franchise.

Financial Requirements & Ongoing Fees

Here's what you can expect to spend to start the business and what ongoing fees the franchisor charges throughout the life of the business.

Initial Franchise Fee Information Circle
Initial Investment Information Circle
$37,671 - $177,888
Net Worth Requirement Information Circle
$100,000 - $250,000
Cash Requirement Information Circle
$25,000 - $100,000
Veteran Incentives Information Circle
$3,500 inventory credit
Term of Agreement Information Circle
10 years
Is franchise term renewable? Yes
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Financing Options

Some franchisors offer in-house financing, while others have relationships with third-party financing sources to which they refer qualified franchisees.

In-House Financing Merle Norman Cosmetics offers in-house financing to cover the following: inventory
Third Party Financing Merle Norman Cosmetics has relationships with third-party sources which offer financing to cover the following: startup costs, equipment

Training & Support Offered

Franchisors offer initial training programs and a variety of ongoing support options to help franchisees run their businesses.

Classroom Training 40 hours
Ongoing Support
Purchasing Co-ops
Meetings & Conventions
Toll-Free Line
Grand Opening
Online Support
Security & Safety Procedures
Lease Negotiation
Field Operations
Site Selection
Proprietary Software
Franchisee Intranet Platform
Marketing Support
Co-op Advertising
Ad Templates
National Media
Regional Advertising
Social Media
Website Development
Email Marketing


Additional details about running this franchise.

Is absentee ownership allowed? Yes
Can this franchise be run from home/mobile unit? Information Circle
Can this franchise be run part time? Information Circle
# of employees required to run 2
Are exclusive territories available? Information Circle
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Franchise 500 Ranking History

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Updated: December 12th, 2022