By  on January 4, 2002

NEW YORK -- Is it possible to move more than a half-million beauty products in one day? Yes, it is. Just ask QVC.

In its first-ever 24-hour beauty marathon, held Saturday, Dec. 29, the TV retailer ended up shipping some 500,000 packages filled with beauty items. "It was a colossal day for us," said Allen Burke QVC's director of beauty.

"It was the most hours ever devoted to beauty and the best in terms of sales -- by a long shot," he said.

Saturday is typically the best sales day of the week for the channel, and devoting one to beauty was certainly a vote of confidence to the business. While the timing is unconventional from the industry's point of view, said Burke, "We think it is the perfect time to do this."

He said programming focused on "looking forward" with brands addressing spring colors, spring hairstyles and new products and formulations. "Our customers in general tend to focus on themselves a little more this time of year," he said.

In 24 hours you can feature a lot of brands, but some of the key collections included Smashbox, Dianne Young, Murad, Perfect Plus hair care, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancaster, Crabtree and Evelyn, Pro Strong nail care and Lather.

Dermablend was featured for eight minutes around 6 a.m., according to Timothy Hogen, chief executive officer for the corrective cosmetics line. He said for that hour of the day the brand did quite well. Typically, the goal for Dermablend is to achieve sales of $12,000 a minute.

"Time varied by need of the brand," noted Burke. "These brands are of different sizes and at different points in their development with us. You also have to balance it to make the day interesting." He said the show brought in 10,000 new customers that day.

Tova Borgnine, who is the leading fragrance vendor on QVC, did not appear on the show, but on Dec. 4 gave a sneak preview of her newest scent -- Nirvana -- which officially launches this spring. "It did great," recalled Burke. "It makes me hopeful that not only will her new fragrance do well, but her existing fragrances will [also] do well."Borgnine was inspired to create Nirvana after a trip to India in 1998. It was designed with perfumer Pierre Bourdon at Fragrance Resources, with the bottle by Pierre Dinand. Described as a woody, mossy and floral scent, she said Nirvana combines the "extraordinary tapestry and sensuality" of India.

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