NEW YORK -- While more and more customers seek to avoid the harmful effects of exposure to the sun, prestige beauty firms are hoping they'll choose department stores as the source for their protection needs.

But even though many companies have been stepping up their sun care campaigns lately, the department store market remains dwarfed by the drugstore sun business.

"I think that sun protection is a viable category for department stores, but it does represent a challenge," said Jane Hertzmark, vice president of marketing for Prescriptives. "You need to really make sure that you are offering something above and beyond what is on the drugstore shelves."

At the moment, according to industry estimates, the prestige market represents only about 7 percent of the sun care category and has been hovering around that percentage for the last few years.

Last year, the total market for sun products, which has been averaging a growth rate of about 6 percent annually for the last few years, was over $400 million at wholesale. This would mean department store sun care sales may not have even broken the $30 million mark.

With that low figure in mind, new efforts are being made to lure consumers into buying what are purportedly higher-quality items, rather than stopping in at the local drugstore for an economy-sized tub of tanning lotion.

"I think the companies that have been the most successful are those which treat sun care as an extension of their treatment business," said Hertzmark. "They build their sun lines on the credibility they have already established in skin care."

In 1987, Prescriptives pared down its sun care line to remove all products that offered less than a Sun Protection Factor of 15.

Hertzmark conceded that sun protection is just a fraction of the company's total business. "We try to combine benefits and functions whenever possible and offer the best technologically advanced products," she said.

"The big draw is technology," agreed Victoria Connell, vice president of marketing and development at Elizabeth Arden. "You can leverage your skin care technology to create sun products that have added treatment benefits."

Arden markets two self-tanners, one for the body and one for the face, which Connell noted do a significant portion of the company's sun business.

To Read the Full Article

Tap into our Global Network

Of Industry Leaders and Designers

load comments
blog comments powered by Disqus