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NEW YORK — Coty is out to prove the specialty bath category’s bubble hasn’t burst. The company’s The Healing Garden brand will plant its roots deeper into the category it helped create seven years ago with the launch of 2-in-1 Moisturizing Body Wash with Lotion, a cleanser said to moisturize as effectively as body lotion.

The 2-in-1 product will go head-to-head with the most significant innovation to hit the personal cleansing segment in recent years, Olay Moisturinse In Shower Body Lotion. Since it launched last June, Moisturinse has generated $3.4 million in sales in the mass retail channel (excluding Wal-Mart), according to Information Resources Inc.

While Coty does not break out sales, industry sources estimate The Healing Garden dual-action body wash could ring up $2.8 million in sales in the first year.

What separates The Healing Garden’s entry is that instead of adding another product to women’s shower regimens it knocks out a step, said Paul Seplowitz, vice president of product development for Coty Beauty U.S. Rather than compete on Olay Moisturinse’s turf, The Healing Garden will fortify its home base by merchandising the 2-in-1 product in the specialty bath department. “Because The Healing Garden is so established in the specialty bath category, it’s the best place for us to launch this product,” said Coty Beauty group marketing director Kelley Woodland.

This year’s introduction of its Active Anti-Cellulite Treatment product and body-toning creams under its Spa Theraphy line were the first in what Coty has promised will be a vanguard of benefit-laden products. The move toward serious skin care allows Coty to introduce premium price points in a commodity-driven category. “Every item you introduce has to perform at a higher level, which is why we introduced a $12.95 anti-cellulite treatment in a category filled with $5 products,” said Roslyn Griner, newly named vice president of bath and body for Coty Beauty. Griner’s appointment followed the departure of Coty’s senior vice president of global fragrances Anastasia Ayala, who was credited with expanding the distribution of The Healing Garden.

Griner noted, “Shelf space is not growing, but companies have to find a way to grow sales.”

This story first appeared in the November 19, 2004 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The company sees an enormous opportunity in skin care, prompting The Healing Garden to drop its Spa Theraphy logo and rename its skin treatment line Body Definition.

“The problem with ‘spa’ is that consumers view it as an experience — a massage or a facial — and don’t necessarily associate it with a specific skin benefit,” explained Griner. “We wanted to create a line that spoke to the idea of body contouring. In Body Definition we’ve created a regimen of products to achieve a more fit, tone and firm body.”

While the products will retain their “natural” positioning, they have graduated to a higher level of technological sophistication, noted Seplowitz. Each formula will now include Coty’s Pro-Firma3 complex, billed as an alpha hydroxy acid alternative that promotes firmness, clarity and resilience. The restaged line will also include the new dual shower product under the name 2-in-1 Skin Renewal Body Wash with Lotion for a suggested retail price of $6.75.

Industry sources expect the retooled Body Definition collection, set to bow in February, to generate $12 million in first-year sales.

Coty will streamline its specialty bath range as well. The Healing Garden has nixed the tag line “Aroma Therapies for Your Mind, Body and Soul,” and replaced it with the more practical-sounding phrase, “Natural, Science, Wellness.” The repackaged collection features a larger logo and simplified message. The range, which currently includes White Teatheraphy, Lavendartheraphy and Green Teatheraphy, will be organized by four core moods: sleep, sensuality, energy and relax. The change, due to debut this spring, will give the brand flexibility to cycle in new scents to match those moods, noted Woodland.

The specialty bath line will also include the

2-in-1 Moisturizing Body Wash Lotion, as well as a promotional 2-in-1 Clay Body Cleanser & Mask, a detoxifying formula that foams in the shower.

Advertisements will break in May and rely heavily on print ads in beauty and fashion books.

Both Body Definition and specialty bath’s new tag line mark the latest round of tweaks on The Healing Garden brands. Coty began retooling the line three years ago when it created the soon-to-be-extinct Spa Theraphy collection.

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