Shiseido Co. Ltd. hopes to accelerate the development of Nars Cosmetics Inc. as a leading makeup brand in both the U.S. and international markets.
This story first appeared in the October 3, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
With a new chief executive officer onboard, the company has plans for an aggressive rollout over the next year. Over six months ago, Louis Desazars, who previously headed the U.S. division of Beauté Prestige International for three and a half years, was appointed ceo of Nars Cosmetics Inc., a sister subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Shiseido Co. Ltd.
“Shiseido wants Nars to be a leading makeup brand within the group,” said Desazars. “The brand has been quiet over the past years and now we’re looking to reassert our leadership in terms of color and being much more fashion-forward and avant-garde.”
In terms of distribution, the company is looking to grow the productivity of its business within its existing specialty retailers as opposed to opening new doors. The brand is currently sold in 22 countries and 650 doors globally. In the U.S., Nars is available in about 450 doors including Sephora, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s and Blue Mercury. On the global front, the brand is also expanding in Europe and Asia, in addition to launching in Spain, where the brand entered Il Cortes Ingles last month. South Korea is scheduled for next year.
Citing The NPD Group, Desazars said Nars business was up 10 percent in the first half of the year and his plans are to double the business over the next three years.
Although executives wouldn’t comment, industry sources estimate that Nars is expected to be a $60 million retail franchise by year’s end.
In addition to focusing on its core color portfolio, which makes up 80 percent of the company’s overall business, Desazars is looking to develop other categories of business including foundation and skin care.
“We’re looking to reassert our leadership in color and hoping to bridge the gap from color to foundation, a category which we feel is underdeveloped,” said Desazars. “Skin care is also a growth category for us because although we have a range, it’s limited in terms of sales penetration.”
Set to launch in November, Nars is expanding its makeup assortment with new items for the lips, eyes, cheeks and nails. Inspired by deep purple, berry and metallic hues, the holiday collection includes seven new items, which range in price from $16 for Orgasm Nail Polish to $25 for Super Orgasm Blush, which is a blend of peachy pink with gold glitter. The company is also introducing a bronzing stick, called Multiple Bronzer for the eyes, lips and cheeks. Available in three shades starting in December, the bronzing stick is designed to give the skin a sun-kissed glow and will retail for $37. Also in December, Nars will launched Multiple Duo, a cream-to-powder stick designed to give the skin a sheer finish.