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Chanel Plans to Unveil Upgraded Lift Serum

<CS:BOLD>NEW YORK -- Lift Serum might be Chanel Beaute's best-selling makeup or treatment product worldwide, but the company thinks it can do much better -- nearly twice as well, in fact.<BR><BR>In March, Chanel will introduce an improved version of...

NEW YORK — Lift Serum might be Chanel Beaute’s best-selling makeup or treatment product worldwide, but the company thinks it can do much better — nearly twice as well, in fact.

In March, Chanel will introduce an improved version of the eight-year-old antiwrinkle cream that is expected to increase the brand’s volume by 75 percent, according to Jean Hoehn Zimmerman, senior vice president of marketing and sales.

The new version, called Lift Serum Extreme, is designed to prevent wrinkles as well as correct them, which was the purpose of the old product.

“Lift Serum has been our number-one-selling [stockkeeping unit] since 1986, when we introduced it,” said Zimmerman.

She declined to discuss dollar figures, but industry sources said the original product did more than $3.5 million at wholesale in 1993. That would mean the sales goal for Lift Serum Extreme is more than $6 million this year.

Michelle Taylor, vice president of marketing for Beaute, said Lift Serum Extreme will comprise 20 percent of the company’s treatment volume, compared with 10 percent for the old product in 1993. The old version will be eliminated.

An estimated $2 million print and radio ad campaign, 25 percent of Chanel’s Beaute’s ad budget, will back the launch, Zimmerman said.

A pre-sell effort will begin Feb. 1 with about 200,000 samples being given away. Another million packets and tubes of Lift Serum Extreme will accompany the March and April launch period.

Saks Fifth Avenue will launch Lift Serum Extreme in New York in mid-March, followed by Bullock’s, Los Angeles; Neiman Marcus, Dallas, and Macy’s West, San Francisco. Chanel’s full distribution of about 500 doors will also offer the product.

Lift Serum Extreme is $70 for a 1-oz. bottle, compared with $67.50 for the same amount of the old product, and $47 for a .68-oz. version.

The treatment item also has new packaging. In place of the thin square container with an exposed pump is a bottle with a cap, making the product more hygenic. The new bottle also has an indicator that turns red as a warning when only two or three days’ supply is left.

Jack Mausner, senior vice president for research and development, said the new product differs from the original in that it has an anti-free-radical component of Vitamins C and E to help prevent fine lines.

The original serum worked on existing wrinkles only. Chanel claims it improves the appearance of even deep wrinkles by up to 45 percent.

In addition, Mausner said the new version increases skin’s firmness by up to 35 percent and its smoothness by up to 70 percent.