By  on March 11, 2005

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Wal-Mart and Target will be getting a dash of class this summer, with a color cosmetics initiative that has proven to be a winner in the prestige segment of the business.

In July, Cover Girl will introduce Custom Compacts, its first collection of products to be created with the input of makeup artist Pat McGrath, who was named Procter & Gamble’s beauty creative design director last September. The compacts introduce the customization concept, long a popular initiative in the prestige market, to mass.

“Pat has helped us to immediately develop this customized line for Target and Wal-Mart,” said Marc Pritchard, president of global retail hair color, cosmetics and personal care for Procter & Gamble’s beauty businesses and the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association’s new chairman. “This is a new type of initiative at mass, and we believe it will be a winning one for our customers. Pat has a real talent for translating runway to realway, and this line is something that illustrates that talent.”

Meanwhile, Pritchard also unfurled a plan for what he termed “a renaissance to growth” for the Clairol division. He also noted that Clairol has signed colorist Brad Johns as the division’s global creative color director, beginning April 1.

The McGrath compacts will be available in two options. The bulk of the program comprises starter compacts, which will be sold empty for $2.99 each and which will hold up to four magnetized pots of color. To fill them, customers can choose from a range of seven lip glosses, 21 lip colors and 14 eye shadow colors, each priced $3.49. Alternatively, for those who prefer McGrath’s guidance, one pre-made compact — which will contain two best-selling Cover Girl lip shades selected by McGrath — will also be sold, for $6.49.

The compacts will be sold exclusively in Wal-Mart and Target doors and will be available beginning in July.

Pritchard, who noted that more Cover Girl/McGrath initiatives will be in stores this fall, didn’t rule out the possibility of one day doing a Pat McGrath-branded line. “I could see it happening eventually,” he told WWD.

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