NEW YORK -- May Department Stores Co. is planning to phase out Revlon's Ultima II prestige cosmetics and fragrance business, it was learned.
Market reports were circulating at the weekend that May Co. is dropping Ultima as a way of making a statement in its increased competition with J.C. Penney Co., and policies regarding vendors doing business with both retailers.
Revlon began selling Ultima to Penney's nearly three years ago, a move which reportedly touched off a falling out with R.H. Macy & Co. The two companies subsequently stopped doing business together.
Revlon's Alexandra de Markoff line, which has a more limited distribution than Ultima, is not involved in the May Co. decision, according to sources.
Ultima did $15 million to $20 million at retail last year with May Co., according to estimates. The phaseout will occur over the next six months, sources told WWD.
Neither Revlon nor May Co. executives could be reached for comment late Friday and over the weekend.
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