By  on March 4, 1994

NEW YORK -- Ultima II is flinging itself back into the women's fragrance market.

In September, the Revlon division will launch Head Over Heels, its first scent in the nearly five years since UII was introduced in 1990.

The new women's scent is just part of the company's plans to expand its reach without broadening its distribution. "Our goal is to become a multi-categorical business within the [2,000] doors that already carry us," said Geoffrey Donaldson, president of Revlon's department store group. "We have been pretty much a one-segment business: color cosmetics with only some treatment."

According to Donaldson, who declined to discuss dollar figures, color now accounts for 75 percent of Ultima's total sales. Fragrance makes up less than 2 percent and treatment the remaining 23 percent.

Industry sources estimate Ultima's total 1993 wholesale volume at $80 million.

"We are hoping that by 1996, fragrance will represent 20 percent of our total sales, treatment 30 percent and color 50 percent," Donaldson said. "We plan to do this not by decreasing our color business but by building up the division's total sales and the sales of treatment and fragrance."

With Head Over Heels, Ultima hopes to broaden the brand's reach into the fragrance category, an area in which the brand has traditionally been weak.

Sources said the UII women's scent is less than 2 percent of total wholesale volume, or less than $1 million at wholesale. "When we launched UII, it was around the same time that we came out with The Nakeds, so it never got the support that it needed," said Andrea Robinson, president of marketing for Revlon's department store group, referring to the launch of Ultima's top-selling cosmetics concept of matte, neutral color products.

"It's got a nice cult following with our existing customer but it didn't attract new users to the counter," said Robinson. "This time we are going to do it right."

Head Over Heels will be marketed as a playful product, in sharp contrast to the often serious mood of the typical prestige fragrance. Rising from the top of the square bottle, for example, is a pair of pink-glass legs that seem to be kicking the air. Just as non-traditional is the fragrance, a sparkling, fresh floral.

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