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Bienfait Boom Has Lancome Doubling its Plan

NEW YORK -- Strong early sales of Bienfait Total have led Lancome to double its initial business plan for the moisturizer.<BR><BR>"We were ambitious, but it's doing even better than we thought," said Guy Peyrelongue, president and chief executive...

NEW YORK — Strong early sales of Bienfait Total have led Lancome to double its initial business plan for the moisturizer.

“We were ambitious, but it’s doing even better than we thought,” said Guy Peyrelongue, president and chief executive officer of Cosmair Inc., the U.S. licensee of Lancome parent L’Oreal. “We are shooting for two million units this year.”

At $30 for a 1.7-oz. bottle, retail sales could reach $60 million.

Lancome previously projected that it would sell at least one million units of Bienfait Total, making it the company’s best-selling item. The product, Lancome’s first major effort in the important liquid moisturizer category, was launched across the country on April 24.

“It really and truly has been the most successful product launch in the history of Lancome,” said Margaret Sharkey, senior vice president of marketing and deputy general manager.

Sandy Pearce, vice president for cosmetics and fragrance at Macy’s West, said that Bienfait Total accounted for as much as 18 percent of the chain’s total Lancome business during the launch week.

Pearce said the three-pronged promise of continuous hydration, radiance (from a low level of alpha-hydroxy acid) and environmental protection (SPF 15 and Vitamin E) is meeting the customer’s demand for multipurpose products.

“The price point for Lancome is very attractive,” Pearce said. “I think the interest is in the marketing, the ‘total well-being.’ That sounds fantastic.”

Lynne Greene, senior vice president of sales and deputy general manager, said Bienfait Total has given the whole Lancome line a boost. She said stores reported Lancome’s volume increased from 25 percent to as high as 56 percent the week of the launch.

“Bienfait did as much as 25 percent of the total Lancome business last week,” Greene said.

She noted that Robinsons-May sold 10,000 pieces of the moisturizer in April, breaking a unit record for the Los Angeles-based chain.

The treatment category overall has been driving Lancome’s business, Greene said, adding that Renergie’s three stockkeeping units accounted for about 12 percent of the company’s sales in April.

Lancome executives said they do not plan to revise Bienfait Total’s advertising and promotional budget, which is reportedly $12 million this year.

“We still feel like we have an aggressive ad campaign in place,” Greene said.

Sharkey said Lancome also plans to maintain the momentum by sampling Bienfait Total in both the summer and fall gift-with-purchase promotions.

Lancome also launched Bienfait Total worldwide in April, and although volume figures were not available, Peyrelongue said the European introduction was a strong one.