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Beauty Beat: Men’s Skin Care Zooms; Online Booms … Chanel’s Duffy Resigns … Summit Denies Reports

<STRONG>Men's Skin Care Zooms; Online Booms</STRONG><BR>NEW YORK — Men's skin care sales rose 13 percent in U.S. department stores last year to $59 million, according to NPD Beauty, a division of market information company The NPD Group...

After drugstore.com, sephora.com is the most popular buying venue for beauty consumers shopping online.

After drugstore.com, sephora.com is the most popular buying venue for beauty consumers shopping online.

WWD Staff

Men’s Skin Care Zooms; Online Booms
NEW YORK — Men’s skin care sales rose 13 percent in U.S. department stores last year to $59 million, according to NPD Beauty, a division of market information company The NPD Group Inc.

This growth rate was more than double that of both the entire skin care category and the total women’s skin care market last year, each of which grew by 6 percent. It was the second consecutive year that the men’s skin care category outpaced women’s skin care, NPD said.

Meanwhile, on the women’s side, an extensive NPD Beauty study called “Emerging Channels: Beauty Care Products on the Internet,” found that the main reason 53 percent of women who shop on the Internet do so is because they are looking for more convenience. It is easier to shop there, they say.

Also, faster connection speeds are making accessing the Internet easier and women “are now noticing items that used to be exclusive to ‘brick-and-mortar’ retailers are now available online,” the published report said.

The survey also found that women tend to shop online for brands they already own and are less likely to buy brands online that they’ve never heard of. From March 28 to April 6, NPD surveyed more than 7,300 women age 18 to 64 and 6,863 of them reported shopping for beauty products during the past 12 months.

Overall, 10 percent of the women said they shopped for beauty online, spending an average of $83 a year. The report also said that self-reported online beauty shopping rose by 38 percent over last year. What’s more, 20 percent of female consumers intend to spend more online for beauty products during the next year than they did in the last year.

“What may be even more surprising to many manufacturers and retailers is that the Internet has already surpassed some of the more traditional channels for beauty products in terms of future purchase intent, such as fine department stores, kiosks at malls and phone or mail order channels,” said Timra Carlson, the outgoing president of NPD Beauty.

Sites that sell multiple brands are the most popular among shoppers, according to NPD. In terms of online beauty purchases, drugstore.com and sephora.com were the first and second most popular sites, respectively. These were followed, in order, by avon.com, victoriassecret.com and target.com.

This story first appeared in the June 29, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

About half of women browse for beauty products online, then buy them in a store, while 80 percent browse online, purchase online and have the products shipped to them. Just over one quarter of customers browse for products in a store, purchase them on the Internet and then have them shipped.

“Cross-shopping for beauty products is rampant,” according to the survey, “and it appears the Internet is now considered another channel option for consumers.” Speaking of cross-channel shopping, there are more than 15 different channels for consumers to choose from, up from five in 1990, according to NPD.

When it comes to cross-shopping, 75 percent of women who reported shopping for beauty products online said they also buy beauty products from mass merchandisers, which are followed closely by drugstores and specialty stores. Thirty percent of department store beauty shoppers also shop for beauty products online.

“Smaller, nontraditional channels for beauty products also have the highest levels of cross-shopping via the Internet,” the NPD report stated. For instance, nearly 67 percent of duty-free customers also shop online. Of those who buy beauty products at dermatologists’ offices, 56 percent also shop on the Internet. And, about half of the women who shop on TV channels cross-shop online.

“Emerging Channels: Beauty Care Products on the Internet” is one of a series of three reports being produced this year by NPD Beauty. The other two, which are pending, focus on TV home shopping and specialty stores.
— Matthew W. Evans

Chanel’s Duffy Resigns
NEW YORK — Susan Duffy, vice president of public relations and corporate events for Chanel Fragrances and Beaute, has resigned after over 16 years with the firm. Her last day will be July 8.

“While at Chanel, Susan has built and led an innovative, motivated p.r. team that has strategically and creatively conceived and implemented image- and brand-building initiatives that have achieved editorial dominance for our products and an industry buzz,” said Maureen Chiquet, president and chief operating officer of Chanel Inc., in an internal announcement. “Susan was instrumental in spearheading the recent Nicole Kidman/No.5 press initiatives, launching the celebrity makeup artist program and building a consumer and press desire for all Chanel fragrance and beauty products over the years.”

Duffy is the second senior p.r. staffer to announce plans to exit the brand in as many weeks. Rosemarie Sterling, Chanel’s executive director of p.r., Fragrances and Beaute, resigned last week and will head up U.S. p.r. efforts for YSL Beaute, beginning in August.
— Julie Naughton

Summit Denies Reports
NEW YORK — Summit Partners denied reports Tuesday that it is preparing to sell Physicians Formula by interviewing investment bankers to assist in a sale.

“As you would expect, Summit Partners frequently speaks to investment bankers to familiarize them with our portfolio companies,” said a Summit spokeswoman. “This does not indicate anything more than that. We are not selling Physicians Formula.”

The Boston-based investment firm acquired a majority stake in Physicians nearly two years ago. Previously, the niche beauty brand was owned by Pierre Fabre Inc., which retains a minority interest in the company.

Physicians Formula — known for its problem-solution approach to beauty — has garnered attention from competitors and earned praise from retailers for its stellar sales growth over the last several years.

According to Information Resources Inc., Physicians’ retail sales rose 12 percent to $64.4 million (excluding Wal-Mart) for the 52-week period ended June 12.

At a conference this month, Ingrid Jackel-Marken, senior vice president of marketing for Physicians Formula, declared, “We are no longer below the radar.”
— Molly Prior