By  on July 17, 2009

In a bid to bolster its men’s business, London-based Molton Brown will introduce this fall an assortment of 23 products comprising items that have either been reformulated or repackaged — and some that are altogether new.

The launch, which is set for September and includes eight new items, will involve the brand’s skin care, fragrance, bath and body and shave product categories.

“Men’s is a dominant part of our business and it has grown over the years,” said Amy Nelson-Bennett, the firm’s group marketing director. “It was a small part before men’s grooming started taking off [in recent years].”

Depending on the market, men’s makes up 15 to 25 percent of Molton Brown’s total revenues, which the firm expects will reach 80 million British pounds, or $131.3 million at current exchange, for this year.

By region, men’s makes up 15 percent of Molton Brown sales in the U.K., while in the U.S., it accounts for 17 to 18 percent of sales. In Japan, men’s generates 25 percent of sales.

Molton Brown’s men’s initiative is expected to generate upward of 15 million pounds, or $24.6 million, in first year retail sales globally. And, with the new men’s assortment in the U.K. market, for instance, men’s could reach 20 percent of Molton Brown sales there in the next two years.

The firm, which was acquired by Japan-based KAO Corp. in 2005, operates 60 stores globally, including 50 in the U.K. and six in the U.S., with three in Manhattan. When it comes to Molton Brown’s wholesale business, the brand is carried in about 250 points of sale in the U.S., including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Blue Mercury.

As for the eight new products, a body scrub bar ($22 for 250 g.) will be added to Molton Brown’s Re-charge Black Pepper trio, the brand’s most popular men’s scent. Also new is Re-charge Black Pepper shave oil, $29 for 30 ml.

Additions to the men’s skin care collection, which now features five items, include Deep-clean Mineral Ions Facewash ($27 for 125 ml.) and Skin-clear Jade Face Exfoliator ($29 for 125 ml.). Two items will also be added to Active Cassia: Body Deodorant ($34 for 200 ml.) and Bodywash & Scrub ($33 for 200 ml.).

The remaining new items include Bracing Silverbirch, an eau de toilette priced at $60 for 50-ml. and Cool Buchu body wash, $28 for 300 ml.

In all, the 23-item men’s line will range in price from $22 to $60.

The repackaging has involved graphic elements like a band around each product as well as “enriched colors,” said Nelson-Bennett, like dark greens, bronzes and browns.

“The repackaging is to make it modern and masculine,” said Nelson-Bennett. “It’s getting more competitive in men’s so we want to stay ahead of the curve rather than follow.”

In May 2010, additional men’s products will be introduced. These items will primarily be focused on hair care and shaving accessories, Nelson-Bennett noted.

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