By  on May 20, 2005

NEW YORK — Parfums Christian Dior is taking a new approach to U.S. distribution for its fall launches.

The beauty brand will simultaneously launch two fragrances, Miss Dior Cherie (see sidebar) and Dior Addict 2, and a host of color and skin care products, all of which will be segmented between the company's department store and specialty store doors.

"We're finding that we have two major groups of consumers," said Lisa Hawkins, vice president of marketing. "There are our established customers, who are more likely to be shopping in a specialty store such as Neiman Marcus, and who have little price resistance. Then we have a young, fashion-forward group of women, who are more likely to be shopping in Sephora or Macy's, and though they may want the pricy product, they may not be able to afford it. This strategy opens the Dior brand to a much wider audience." It's also part of the brand's goal to triple its U.S. business, she added.

Miss Dior Cherie is seen as the couture fragrance launch for fall, noted Kristin Stevenson, director of marketing for Dior fragrances in the U.S. It will launch first at Saks Fifth Avenue in July before entering Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom doors in August. In total, it will be in about 175 specialty stores in the U.S.

Dior Addict 2, on the other hand, is more of a fashion fragrance, said Hawkins, although a final determination hasn't yet been made as to whether it will stay permanently or be supplanted each year by a new Addict fashion fragrance. Intended to appeal to a younger consumer than the first Addict, Addict 2 has top notes of bergamot, grapefruit and orange; a heart of freesia, lily of the valley, watery lotus, pineapple, watermelon and grenadine, and a dry-down of sandalwood and cedarwood. Its juice is by Robertet. Dior Addict 2 will launch in Sephora in July and in department stores in August; in total, it will be in about 750 doors in the U.S.

In keeping with the desire to appeal to more youthful consumers, Dior Addict 2 will be priced lower than its couture sister. Dior will do a 20-ml. eau de toilette spray exclusively for Sephora; it will retail for $37. In department stores and Sephora doors, eaux de toilette in 50-ml. and 100-ml. sizes will be available, for $48 and $68, respectively. The bottle is a pink-toned, silver-capped interpretation of the original Addict bottle, which is midnight blue with a gold cap. Industry sources estimated that it could do $10 million at retail in its first year on counter.

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