Image by Elf Cosmetics

Elf, the American makeup brand founded ‘to make luxurious, high-quality beauty products available to everyone’, is closing 12 stores across the US.

The closure of the bricks-and-mortar stores, which made up five percent of the brand’s net sales last year, will enable it to “prioritise” its national retailer and digital channels.

Announcing the closures, Elf’s chief executive officer Tarang Amin said 2018 had been a challenging year for the company with a one percent drop in net sales “driven by headwinds in tracked channels”.

“Despite this, we improved our overall margin profile and delivered strong operating cash flow,” he said.

“We also made significant progress on initiatives that we believe will better position Elf in the rapidly evolving mass beauty landscape.

“Going forward, we will be laser-focused on reasserting Elf’s core advantage to delight beauty enthusiasts with prestige-quality cosmetics and skincare at an extraordinary value.

“We intend to do this by driving demand in our brand, focusing on key, first-to-mass products, getting the right assortment and placement on-shelf and on-line and generating the cost savings to help pay for these investments.”

Elf (short for Eyes Lips Face) was launched in 2004 by Joseph Shamah and Scott Vincent Borba.

According to Borba, the pair came up with the  idea of producing “high quality cosmetics at affordable prices” after seeing women in expensive cars such as BMWs and Mercedes shopping for bargain-priced cosmetics at 99-cent stores in Los Angeles.

The brand now sells more than 300 products  in 18 countries including the US, Canada, UK, Saudi Arabia and France with its website as its primary sales vehicle.

In Australia, Elf is sold via its website as well as at major retailers including Target, Big W, Kmart, Advantage Pharmacy and Adore Beauty.

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