NEW YORK -- Erno Laszlo wants women to get with the program.With that in mind, Laszlo is launching an alpha-hydroxy acid product called AHa Revitalizing Complex, at the end of April.Debra McDonough, vice president and general manager, said the company, a division of Unilever, wants the item to reach new consumers as well as women who have strayed from the complete treatment program, which consists of six to eight steps for morning and night.In an attempt to draw customers into the full program, Laszlo will offer a kit of the regimen for $50 during the AHa launch period. The kit, containing travel-size products, will be available in seven skin types.Because of its function as an enticement to use the rest of Laszlo's products, McDonough described AHa Revitalizing Complex as the prestige treatment company's "most important new skin care product in many years."It should become the company's best-selling item, McDonough said, accounting for 20 percent of the business.She declined to discuss dollar figures, but industry sources put Laszlo's annual sales at about $18 million wholesale. AHa would then do $3.6 million.The product, which will be positioned as a night treatment for all skin types, will be launched in all of Laszlo's 350 doors, including Saks Fifth Avenue, I. Magnin, Neiman-Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.It will be sold in a silver box of eight 0.1-oz. bottles, each a week's supply, at $95. AHa contains a combination of alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, which Alan Meyers, director of treatment and color cosmetics, said is more comfortable for sensitive and allergy-prone skin than some other acid-based lotions on the market.Meyers said the company opted to package the product in one-week bottles because "consumers like having some method of tracking their progress."As a launch gift-with-purchase, Laszlo will offer a three-week trial supply, sleeved with the eight-week product.AHa Revitalizing Complex is the first in a series of new products slated to be introduced over the next couple of years, Meyers said. Upcoming items include an anti-blemish product and one for sebum control, he said.Laszlo, which until recently was up for sale, will also undertake its first print advertising campaign in several years with the AHa launch.McDonough declined to reveal the size of the ad budget but said it would hit about 25 percent of AHa's net sales. That would put it at about $900,000.The campaign, which centers around a product shot, will break in May issues of women's and regional magazines, McDonough said, as well as in other publications with the right demographics, such as Bon Appetite and Gourmet.
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