By  on February 18, 1994

PARIS -- L'Oreal is stepping up its presence in designer hair care, one of the fastest-growing sectors of the European market.On March 21, the company will launch its Jean Louis David line in 4,000 French hypermarket and supermarket doors.David, who has a salon network of more than 600 franchises worldwide, is considered one of the best-known names among hairstylists and, therefore, a good bet for a line, said Alain Ducasse, managing director of L'Oreal's Gemey division, which is handling David.He added that Gemey hoped to sell more than 10 million units, representing 5 percent of the total French market, or $35 million (205 million francs) in 1994. He added that David might eventually be rolled out elsewhere.The line -- which includes 16 shampoo, conditioner and styling items -- is a reworked version of an earlier product range developed for French perfumeries and department stores in 1991."It wasn't successful because no one in France buys hair care in selective distribution," Ducasse said.David, who spoke at a presentation last week in Paris, cited two important innovations in the range.First are the 3-in-1 shampoos, in which Gemey researchers claim they have gotten rid of the residue that is a common problem of combination shampoos and conditioners.Second are the two modeleur setting products, which the company claims allow users to create more complicated hairdos than they can with other gels or mousses.The shampoos and rinses are priced at $2.80 (16.50 francs), the deep conditioning product is $3.05 (18 francs) and the modeleurs, mousses and sprays are $4.41 (26 francs). The average retail price for shampoo in hypermarkets is $2 (12 francs).

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