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Becca Staging Brand Comeback

The color cosmetics brand is focused on retrenching itself as a diverse color-matching authority.

Australian color cosmetics brand Becca is looking to build from its foundation up, with a focus on reestablishing itself as a diverse color-matching authority.

“We are a beauty brand, but with a particular strength in the complexion category,” said Rebecca Morrice Williams, founder and creative director for Becca Inc. “Our mission always has been to have the right shade for everyone.”

After exiting distribution in Sephora stores in 2008, Becca will return to the chain next week with a renewed brand image and edited product assortment. The rollout will begin in 23 doors, with a plan to expand into more than 200 doors in the coming year, including between 50 and 100 Sephora outposts in J.C. Penney.

Industry sources believe Becca could generate $15 million beginning this month to October of next year, a number that represents more than triple what the brand earned during the same period last year.

Becca exited Sephora due to “functional issues,” said Robert W. DeBaker, president and global chief executive officer, and was sold for a brief time in the Duane Reade Look Boutiques. The brand was pulled from the drugstore chain in May, because DeBaker wanted to partner with a retailer with more of a global reach. Already available in 30 countries like the U.K., Australia, Singapore, Germany, Hong Kong and Russia, DeBaker has plans to take his relaunch strategy global, beginning with key markets — including Australia and the U.K. late next year.

To get the brand back to its origins, DeBaker began by researching its past. He quickly learned that Becca’s DNA was centered on the offer of an ample complexion shade range. “Becca helps us deliver broad shade ranges that cover a multiethnic woman, who now accounts for over 30 percent of clients,” said Alison Hahn, vice president and division merchandise manager for color at Sephora. “It’s not that Becca has the most shades, but they have the right shades.” DeBaker also scaled back Becca’s 360 active stockkeeping units to 160, phasing out products that underperformed or seemed extraneous to the lineup. One hundred of the remaining sku’s are in the cover-up category.

“Becca has worked to focus the line on top-producing sku’s,” said Hahn. “We have gotten rid of a lot of the noise and honed in on complexion and the perfectors.” A Shade Match Selector Wheel, which will be featured alongside the Becca assortment, will allow Sephora customers to find their shades and there will be a heavy emphasis on sampling a variety of hues.

Over the next 15 months, Becca will introduce three additional foundation formulas and a new concealer. Radiant Mineral Powder Foundation, $40, is launching in November, while Radiant Skin Creamy Concealer, $32, will bow in January. Three additional face products, Matte Skin Shine Proof Foundation, $42, Matte Skin Poreless Priming Perfector, $35, and Blotting Powder Perfector, will all roll out beginning in April.

In the second quarter of 2013, Becca will relaunch its Web site with a renewed focus on e-commerce and content. The site will include videos, digital master classes, a library of historical Becca imagery and access to live “conversations” with national makeup artists.