1. Markwins International Corp. acquires Soho Cosmetics, a Canadian-based maker of color cosmetics and cosmetics bags, for an undisclosed amount of cash and interest. The deal looks to immediately expand Markwins’ distribution in Canada as well as introduce a new midpriced cosmetics brand to the U.S. market, which the company expects to relaunch in the next six months.


  2. Pacific World Corp. is expected to acquire Fing’rs, giving it another brand in the artificial-nail category, in addition to Nailene and Revlon Artificial.


  3. J.C. Penney has hired a new bath and body buyer, Marty Richner, after the post remained open for five months. Richner has served as the fragrance buyer for Federated Department Stores in Atlanta; the vice president, general merchandise manager for cosmetics at Mercantile Stores, and the senior vice president, marketing and merchandising at Ulta. The move signals that the retailer is indeed serious about reentering the beauty category.


  4. Julie Adams is named to Duane Reade’s beauty department. Her role at the regional retailer is still being ironed out, but two positions remain open within the division, hosiery buyer and skin care buyer.


  5. Specialty bath is losing space to skin care items, and in turn, new bath items are infusing skin care benefits in their formulas. Manufacturing in China — and shipping directly — gives companies a distinct advantage in doing business with Wal-Mart. The China trend is “squeezing out” small U.S. bath suppliers who can’t offer the behemoth its required margins and low price points.


  6. Competition in the value sector of cosmetics has reached an all time high with the addition of Ten Beauty by Smart Brands and Jane Cosmetics.


  7. Hot show items according to buyers: P&G’s new Cover Girl line targeting older women and utilizing the Olay brand on packages; a woman’s version of Spirit Antonio Banderas; Sarah Michaels’ new skin care-focused bath line; Del Labs’ Opal nail line; Spongeables’ soap-infused body sponges; Illusions’ rotating jewelry display, and Solar Cosmetics’ Green Leaf Spa line.


  8. Woodbridge Labs’ DermaFreeze 365 will bring a $40 price point to drugstores’ skin care shelves this spring, breaking the $35 ceiling currently held by Avène and Vichy in Brooks Pharmacy.
  9. Hot 2005 trends: anticellulite products; 3-in-1 products, and nail implements.
  10. ECRM news: Buyers complained that the four-day, 10-hour-per-day beauty show was extremely taxing with too many suppliers to see in such a short period of time; the Expo Hall, which was specially created to accommodate an overflow of vendors, was a bomb with few retailers taking the time to meet them, and ECRM is hosting its first Hispanic show this October in Miami, to include the beauty, food and general merchandise categories.

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