5413_Shu_lashtokyo.jpgAnother popular cosmetic brand is leaving United States department stores and boutiques: L’Oréal USA has announced it will phase out retail operations for Shu Uemura in the coming months. According to L’Oréal USA representatives, the decision was based on the brand’s relatively low stateside sales.

“Shu Uemura is a unique and vibrant brand, but it represents a very small part of our luxury business,” said Carol Hamilton, president of L’Oréal USA’s luxury division, in a statement. “We decided that L’Oréal USA would be better served by focusing on our other strategic luxury brands like Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Kiehl’s and fragrances.”

Because L’Oréal USA declined to disclose sales numbers for specific brands, it’s not clear how Shu Uemura sales compared to those of other L’Oréal-owned luxury brands.

The cosmetics company, created in 1983 and named for its founder, is known for its eyelash curlers and false eyelashes, as well as skin-care products and make-up tools. United States customers can still buy products on the company’s Web site, www.shuuemura.com; the products United States consumers buy online will be shipped from Canada. Shu Uemura will still be sold in 17 other countries, according to L’Oréal spokesperson Rebecca Caruso, and Shu Uemura Art of Hair will continue to be sold in select salons the United States.

“We are working with our retail partners to determine the best exit strategy and most likely this will take place over the next several months and not all at the same time,” Caruso said, adding, “I can’t discuss the number of employees affected by the closure except to say that it is a very small number.”