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Live from New York: Companies Pursue New Business

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: January 9, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

Bloomingdale’s CEO Michael Gould (center, with scissors), joins Nicky Kinnaird (to his right), founder and creative director of Space NK, in cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony for the new Space NK Apothecary at Bloomingdale’s on 59th Street in New York City.

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The Fragrance Foundation’s discussion on portable fragrances as a new market segment began as part of its ongoing Think Tank series. Foundation president Rochelle Bloom addressed attendees with news that among the top current consumer requests is portability, especially for fragrances in 15 mL sizes that fit neatly into handbags and travel easily through airports. While many retailers today don’t want to carry 15 mL sizes, she said, “a sale of 15 mL is a sale nonetheless, and can lead to repeat purchases.” And to Bloom, listening to consumers’ needs is of the utmost importance. Her Think Tank panelists agreed, placing additional emphasis on the growing demand for accessible and easy-to-use fragrances and personal care products. Panelists included Joelle Guedalia, vice president of marketing/creative, Falic Fashion Group, who holds responsibility for duty-free stores in the Americas; Lisa Hoffman, president, Lisa Hoffman Beauty, whose products offer portability and luxury in fine fragrance; and Pamela Vaile, president, Pamela Vaile Associates, who worked closely with Hoffman in developing her portable products.

Guedalia discussed the popularity of a variety of compact portable product formats, including solid fragrances, roller balls, rechargeable vaporizers, minis individually packed in folding cartons, and lastly, gift sets that combine both fragrance and bath and body products. In addition, duty-free airport destinations are becoming sleek, modern retail outposts, where both men and women can purchase high-end fragrances and more. “Duty-free is a quick sale, and travelers expect us to do the thinking for them, providing competitive prices and quality fragrances,” Guedalia said. “It is becoming a high-end luxury shopping experience.”

Hoffman’s experience with packing for an extensive travel agenda was the impetus for the creation of her product line. She considered organizing her beauty regimen into 10-day packets for one of her trips and soon realized that travel meant portability. This encouraged her to develop a line of luxurious, yet portable beauty products and fragrances—the Lisa Hoffman Variations Fragrance Collection, co-designed by Givaudan perfumers.

Vaile credited Hoffman as someone outside the industry who has been able to view fragrance differently, ultimately creating portable, travel-friendly collections that fit modern women’s needs. “Portability is critical to us as an industry,” Vaile said. “It is an underdeveloped segment of our business, and it’s a place for product innovation.”

Clarins Launches New Antiaging System

At a press luncheon in New York City’s Le Bernardin Restaurant, Caroline Pieper-Vogt, senior vice president, group business development, Clarins, introduced the skin care brand’s spring 2009 product launches, beginning with Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Botanical System. “Antiaging is not just about fighting lines and wrinkles, it’s about being beautiful from the inside out,” she said, noting the product’s intensive two-step brightening botanical system. Step one in the regimen, the Skin Renewal Concentrate, is formulated with snow lotus from the Himalayas, to neutralize free radicals; lotus zymbiosome, to help inhibit the growth factor stem cell factor (SCF), the main factor behind the multiplication of melanocytes and the uncontrolled production of melanin due to stress; and highly stable vitamin C to boost synthesis of collagen fibers. Step two, the Brightening Concentrate with patented HP Lock-Around System, contains a slow-release vitamin C derivative, as well as alchemilla and raspberry extracts and biotin. The products will launch in March 2009 and will retail for $155. In addition, Pieper-Vogt discussed Clarins’ new High Definition Body Lift, which targets cellulite and features blue button flower. The formulation also aims to stop further excess fat storage, which results in the appearance of cellulite. Also launching in March 2009, the product will retail for $65. Additional spring launches include HydraQuench Cream SPF 15, HydraQuench Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, Nature Temptations Spring Color Collection and the Instant Beauty Perfectors Emergency Kit.