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The Party Circuit:
The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Annual Meeting, held over the weekend and early this week in Palm Beach, is a time for top executives to roll up their sleeves and get down to business. The cabanas and tables were humming with meetings from morning to afternoon. Even on the rainy Monday, the NACDS staff was quick thinking and set up tables inside to keep the meetings going.
There’s also time for fun.
Procter & Gamble made it easy for busy executives to escape the hustle of the cabana-meetings with a grooming spa and salon. Both men and women could get a pick-me-up with a blowout or hair trim. Masseurs were on hand to give quick massages, and Molly Stern happily performed makeovers. The area was an oasis for weary attendees.
P&G also had slam dunk with its party on Sunday night. In years gone by, P&G’s party was elegant but staid. Now, P&G has turned the event into an educational and entertaining evening. During cocktail hour, Frederic Fekkai was introduced; he talked about his great plans for his brand in new distribution. During dinner, the audience got to hear the latest trends from Stacy London of “What Not to Wear.” There were also Olympians and their moms to honor the commitment P&G made to the Winter Olympics. Guests adjourned to another room for dessert and a concert by Colbie Caillat.
The evening represented a great chance for P&G to show its breadth of products, while giving retailers a chance to mingle with P&G executives and one another.
Beauty companies hosted the highest number of the soirees. Revlon kicked things off Friday night with an evening highlighted by appearances by Jessica Alba and Elaine Mellencamp. Revlon had pared its party over the past two years to reflect the economy. But as a sign things were looking up across retail, Revlon added back some of the splash of years gone by. L’Oréal has long been one of the most talked-about gatherings of the show; this year was no exception. Prior to a huge welcoming party hosted by NACDS, L’Oréal tempted retailers with elegant wines from around the world and appetizer pairings.
That was followed by NACDS’ theme party, which featured everything from a bar built of ice to “live” Greek gods. The party was well-attended, and there was a sense people stayed rather than go off the premises for dinners. While parties may seem all glitz at the get-go, there is much to be taken away from the festivities. First, many retailers get to loosen up and meet colleagues in a noncompetitive environment. For suppliers, there is a friendly environment to get to know merchants better. There’s nothing wrong with mixing parties and work!
People, Places and Things
A few words with James Stammer, president of Parfums de Coeur. Parfums de Coeur took time to attend the Annual Meeting to discuss the company’s growth.
WWDBeautyNews: Is your business more alternative designer brands now or your own brands?
Stammer: We are broken evenly with Bod Man, Body Fantasies and ADFs. Business is good in all three because we represent an opening price point.
WWDBeautyNews: What is new for the company?
Stammer: We have had our own products inspired by Bath and Body Works, but we’ve also added for other consumers our own products based on Victoria’s Secret and that’s been very successful. We are also doing well with our version of Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue.
What’s In Store
Wet ‘n’ Wild Goes Into Dollar General: Noting there is no embarrassment in selling to value stores, Wet ‘n’ Wild is now offered at Dollar General, along with L’Oréal and Maybelline.
Kerr Offers Cellphone Deals: As part of its loyalty program, Kerr Drug now offers its deals and coupons delivered via cell phones.