Brian Collie to Retire at BAA

LONDON — Brian Collie, group retail director of BAA, which runs the major U.K. airports and operates related retail space, will retire at the end of the year, the company stated Friday.

Collie, who has been with BAA for 12 years, was instrumental in fueling sales growth at BAA — and transforming Britain’s airport terminal lounges into luxury shopping malls.

“Brian has been the key player in establishing BAA as the world’s leading airport retailer, and we will be sorry to lose him,” stated Mike Clasper, chief executive officer of BAA.

Collie said the decision to step down was “purely personal,” and he does not plan to seek any full-time executive position in the airport or retail industries. Collie, who is also stepping down from the BAA plc board, said he’ll be working closely with BAA management to choose his successor.

Over the past few years, BAA executives have come to think like retailers: They invented merchandising for summer fragrances as a holiday category, and they launch fragrances much like traditional department stores. Collie himself oversaw the ambitious Heathrow Terminal 3 retail project, which was unveiled last summer. The $167 million plan transformed the terminal from a ho-hum shopping area into a luxury goods mecca with stores including Gucci, Chanel, Hugo Boss and Ermenegildo Zegna.

It also featured the first-ever airport MAC unit. When Armani Cosmetics debuted in London, it launched at Harvey Nichols — and at Heathrow’s Terminal 3 exclusively. “Our goal was to give fliers a reason to shop, with stores on the way — but not in the way,” Collie said before Terminal 3 opened.

In the three months to June 30, the U.K. airports business, including World Duty Free, reported a rise of 11.2 percent in revenue to 498 million pounds, or $911.3 million, from 448 million pounds, or $819.8 million. Operating profit rose 15.5 percent to 164 million pounds, or $300 million, from 142 million pounds, or $260 million. — Samantha Conti

Alcone Sets Web Club

NEW YORK — Alcone, a manufacturer and distributor of color cosmetics under numerous professional brand names, wants to make these items accessible to those outside the makeup artist community.The firm has created Alcone Beauty Club, a membership-based operation at alconebeautyclub.com. The site, which went live in April, and the Alcone Beauty Club program, are on track to generate first-year sales of $1 million.

Sisters-in-law and founders Michele and Alexandra Gay are hoping to capitalize on Alcone’s existing following among professional makeup artists. “We wanted to provide consumers with the tricks of the trade in the form of practical products they can’t find anywhere else,” Michele Gay remarked.

Prospective customers can log on and purchase newly assembled cosmetics kits, which include the branded products manufactured and distributed by Long Island City, N.Y.-based Alcone, such as Ben Nye, Krylon, La Femme and Japonesque.

An annual membership features a kit each month, and members get incentives, such as percentage discounts. Non-members can buy on a per-kit basis.

The annual program features the following kits: Fastlash branded kits, a core offering that features a white polyester fiber base coat to increase eyelash length; Alcone Derma Mini Palette Kit, a set of wax-based concealers, and Alcone Brush Kit. There’s also Super Matte Antishine Kit, which contains a translucent oil-eliminating gel; Alcone Tools Kit, featuring the line’s “bread and butter” sponges and other makeup artist accoutrements, and the Alcone Lip Palette, which includes the Lip Chic lipstick sealer. Additionally, Fireworks Kit; LaFemme Lip Glosses; an Alcone Cooler Pack; the Perfect Eyebrow Kit; the Neutral Set Powder Kit, and the Eyeliner Kit are part of the 12-month program.

Each set comes with step-by-step instructions for application. Alexandra Gay claimed the price points — kits retail for $24.95 per month — are a result of Alcone’s ability to regulate costs as the manufacturer of the products.

In addition, the Bridal Must-Have Kit — a silver mesh bag containing Fastlash, an eyelash comb, powder puffs, makeup remover cloths, antishine gel, nonlatex sponges, Lipchic, cotton tissues, translucent lip gloss, face matte and sparkle — will retail for $75. A companion Bridesmaid Kit in a blue mesh bag with Fastlash, an eyelash comb, antishine gel, makeup remover cloths, eyelash curler and Lip Chic will retail for $40. All will be available only on the Web site.Alcone plans to use direct mail to court new customers, as well as an incentive plan for referrals. Industry sources project an influx of 10,000 new customers in the site’s first 12 months, with a membership retention rate of 7 percent, which is thought to be high for such a venture. Twelve new kits have been pipelined for Alcone Beauty Club’s second year. — Stephanie Leigh LaCava

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