NEW YORK — The Limited is accelerating its push into cosmetics and fragrance with the launch of a bath and body line at Victoria’s Secret that executives say will be their bridge to the $3 billion treatment market.
The new line, called Second Skin Satin Luxury Bath Collection, is set to bow on July 7 in the roughly 600 doors of the Limited’s Victoria’s Secret division.
In the fall of 1995, the company will add facial skin care to the collection, according to Arthur DeGaetano, vice president and general manager of Gryphon Development, the cosmetics and fragrance arm of The Limited.
“We really feel this is going to be the backbone, futuristically, of Victoria’s Secret business,” DeGaetano said.
Although DeGaetano declined to dis-
cuss dollar figures, industry sources estimated Second Skin Satin will hit $40 million to $50 million in first-year retail sales.
Victoria’s Secret’s toiletries are a $100 million retail business, sources said, and the chain’s two fine fragrances — Victoria and Rapture — do a combined $50 million to $60 million a year.
The division plans to launch a third fine fragrance in the fall.
The seven items in the Second Skin Satin collection, which borrows its name from the chain’s best-selling lingerie line, will be available in six fragrances each, for a total of 42 stockkeeping units. DeGaetano said the collection’s size allows for a splashy presentation while still being manageable.
In addition to bath and body products, the range will include a 2-oz. Pure Cologne for $20, which DeGaetano said should account for 20 to 30 percent of the line’s sales. He said the cologne and the 7-oz. Moisture Rich Body Lotion at $15 should be the bestsellers.
The other products in the collection are an 8.4-oz. Sheer Moisture Body Gel for $15, a 7-oz. Cooling Liquid Talc for $14, a 7-oz. Perfect Body Wash for $14, an 8.8-oz. Relaxation Creme Bath for $15 and a 4-oz. Gentle Body Bar for $6.50.
The full range will be available in all six scents: Amethyst, a white floral; Azurine, a tropical, fruity floral; Rare Quartz, a floral oriental; Rosette, a bright, fruity floral; Lapis Sea, a floral, and Citrine, a citrusy floral.
“We envision there could be fragrance growth,” DeGaetano said. “We’re starting out with six; this line could very easily take four additional fragrances.”
A broader selection of scents isn’t the only way DeGaetano intends to build the brand.
Next February, Second Skin Satin will introduce a body exfoliator and a bath oil, DeGaetano said, followed in the spring by a “bridge item” that will begin to move the collection into the facial skin care category. Treatment products are scheduled to arrive in store the following fall.
“We think the name lends itself to treatment products,” DeGaetano said. “Second Skin is a great name.”
John Horvitz, a cosmetics industry consultant, said Victoria’s Secret might have had an easier time translating its fashion business into a color cosmetics brand. The transition “from lifestyle, implicit sexuality and femininity to credible skin care” will be a challenge, he said.
But Horvitz noted, “They have the real estate and the store locations. If they can train their people to sell the products, who’s to say with their traffic that they won’t do some business? They can execute pretty well.”
Heather Fink, director of marketing, noted that the bath collection already has flirted with treatment by giving Second Skin Satin its own “ingredient story.” The moisturizing and cleansing items contain HydraSatin complex, described by Gryphon as a blend of Vitamin E, aloe vera gel, rose extract, chamomile extract and lavender.
The company will spend in excess of $5 million on in-store promotion this year, DeGaetano said.
In something of a departure for The Limited, the promotions will be akin to those in department stores. Traditionally, Victoria’s Secret has promoted toiletries with buy-two, get-one-free and other price-based offers.
The chain will promote Second Skin Satin the way it does its fine fragrances — with gift-with-purchase offers similar to those found in the prestige market, DeGaetano said.
During the launch period and again during the holiday season, Fink said, the store will offer a 0.5-oz. cologne spray with any Second Skin Satin purchase.
The chain will run a different promotion each month, Fink said. Another potential gwp is two 2-oz. bath and body products, she said, or — in a cross-promotional effort — a pair of slippers.
Fink noted that the chain will attempt to cross-merchandise with the year-old Second Skin Satin bra and panty line in other ways, including window displays.
In the month prior to the launch, the products will be featured on two million scented cards handed out in the stores. The Victoria’s Secret catalog, which will appear Aug. 26, also will feature the collection.
Unlike much of The Limited’s merchandise, however, Second Skin Satin is not being store-tested before its launch.
To introduce the customer to the full collection, Victoria’s Secret will offer a starter kit for $17.50 during the launch period. The cosmetics bag will contain all seven items in a choice of the six fragrances.
The price points are about 20 percent higher than Victoria’s Secret toiletries, DeGaetano said.
“It’s upscale looking, and it’s very, very affordable,” he said.
DeGaetano said he expects the cologne and the body lotion to be the top-selling items.
Ann Gottlieb consulted in the development of the scents, and Jennifer Balbier worked on the product development.
Second Skin Satin is the second major bath and body line from a Limited division this year. The first, Bath & Body Works’ Health & Beauty Farm, also will be launched in July and is a down-home version of a spa line that emphasizes the wholesome nature of a Midwestern farm.
Fink summed up the Second Skin Satin image this way: “When a woman wears lingerie without fragrance or fragrance without lingerie, she’s only half-dressed.”