The Wilkes Group Inc. was established in 1976 as an independent
national distributor/agent/marketer of prestige fragrances,
cosmetics, cosmetic specialty products and bath and body lines.
The company has been responsible for the introduction of many
fragrance and cosmetic specialty lines in the United States
including the first cellulite product, the largest independent
prestige nail and foot care line, and the largest independent
men’s fragrance. The company is totally independent
from all other companies, and is 100% privately owned.
Throughout the years, The Wilkes Group has enjoyed an excellent reputation
for its understanding of the U.S. market and the nuances of distributing cosmetics
and fragrance to department store groups, specialty retailers, independent drugstores,
perfumeries and gift stores.
In 1978, the company became the first exclusive distributor
for the Evian® Brumisateur® Mineral Water
Spray from DANONE (France). In the years to follow,
and to this day, Evian has been the overwhelming leader in
In 1984, the company began to distribute Pupa Color Cosmetics
from Micys, (formerly Roan) S.p.A. of Milan, Italy. Pupa is the worldwide leader
in innovative makeup and makeup kits, with distribution in over 80 countries.
The company resigned this line in 2004 because the inventory and return from
retailer requirements became too burdensome.
In 1999, the company internally developed and introduced Source Océan,
the first prestige hand/nail treatment line infused with the
exclusive Source Océan Complex™.
Comprised of marine-rich nutrients and beneficial vitamins,
the complex ensures that hands, nails and feet now receive
the very best care.
In July 2005, The Wilkes Group became the exclusive United
States agent for Bronnley of London, a prestigious firm with
an extensive line of luxurious English soaps, fragrances,
bath and body products and toiletries established in 1883.
A new ownership of bronnley in England decided to change its
distribution strategy and, as a result, The Wilkes Group resigned
the liine in June, 2008.
Since 1993 the company has had corporate offices at its distribution
center in Old Lyme, Connecticut, having previously been headquartered
in New York City for seventeen years. At this location, the
company employs a
full-time staff of seven people and occupies a 10,000 square
foot warehouse and office building designed for its business.
The company is fully computerized with hardware and software
capable of handling all E.D.I. (electronic data interchange),
A.S.N. (advance ship notice) retailer requirements, and electronic
The company divides the country into twenty-four sales territories,
and manages a thirty-five person sales organization comprised
of multi-line independent sales representatives, most of whom
have been associated with
the company for many years. This group completely covers all
department and specialty stores, and a large number of independent
drugstores, and perfumeries. At the present time, approximately
1,500 points of sale are being covered on 30, 60, or 90 day
The company is well organized, has been profitable for thirty of the
thirty two years since its founding, and has no debt. Many think the
company is one of the best in the country at what it does, and one would
be hard-pressed to find another similar company. The Wilkes Group knows
the market, is well staffed for its size, and has an excellent reputation
for integrity. It has the insight, expertise, and patience to successfully
introduce and sustain new products and, other than Pupa and Bronnley, has
only worked with products requiring introduction to the market. Currently,
the company is focused on its Evian and Source Océan businesses. In the
past it has provided invoicing, warehousing, shipping and mail
order/telephone service for others. Over the years, the company has
invested heavily in people, facilities and systems in addition to its
lines which, it believes, explains the long-term relationships it has
enjoyed with most manufacturers and retailers.