By  on June 26, 2009

Groupe Clarins is freshening up its face for fall with the global launch of Multi-Active Day Early Correction, an update to its best-selling Multi-Active line.

The move is intended to bolster Clarins’ bid for increased skin care market share in the U.S., where it currently lags behind Clinique, Estée Lauder and Lancôme. “We have one clear objective and that is not only to be recognized in Europe, but worldwide, as the leading skin care company,” said Clarins president Isabelle Herbreteau, who noted that while the beauty firm is currently “in a challenging situation in the U.S,” it dominates the skin care market in Europe.

Clarins has not updated its Multi-Active range, which targets women aged 25 and older, since 2002, and Herbreteau sees those younger women — seeing their first wrinkles and crows’ feet — as a market opportunity. “When you target recruitment, you target younger generations and Multi-Active is a key item for us to recruit younger customers,” she said, noting that the company has focused on women in their 40s and 50s in the last few years.

Multi-Active Day Early Correction is designed to combat the early appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging in younger women. While the previous range focused on the prevention, the new line also aims to correct existing conditions, such as worry lines on the forehead. The range’s key ingredients include natural antioxidant Hesperidin and Ambiaty extract, said to revitalize the dermal-epidermal junction, which functions like a spring within the skin structure. Hesperidin is delivered over the course of the day with the brand’s newly developed delivery system, Multi-Lamelins. The new formulation also uses extracts from the bark of Madagascar’s Katafray tree, which is said to protect the skin’s barrier function for improved hydration, and the quinoa seed, an amino acid intended to nourish and strengthen the surface of the dermis.

Although the company did not break out figures, this is Clarins’ largest skin care initiative of the year. Industry sources estimate the global launch of the Multi-Active Early Correction could generate as much as $100 million in first-year retail sales worldwide.

At $54 each, the products in the four-item range are aimed at the thirtysomething consumer, with one-step formulas for normal, combination and dry skin as well as a Correcting Lotion SPF 15 for all skin types. “We’re targeting a woman who is concerned about skin but is also stressed, busy and looking for multibenefit products,” said Maria Dempsey, senior vice president of marketing. “It’s four different formulas within one concept.”

The range will be launched in 15,000 doors worldwide in September, including about 1,000 doors in the U.S and 11,500 doors in local markets throughout Europe.

While the Multi-Active range currently represents about 4 percent of Clarins’ U.S. business, Clarins USA president and chief executive officer Jonathan Zrihen said he expects the new product to represent about 10 percent of the Clarins brand’s total business, which is estimated at $1 billion and has a worldwide total corporate volume of about $1.4 billion.

“There’s a real shift in the U.S. in terms of the consumer we’re addressing,” said Zrihen. “We haven’t really reached out to this target age in awhile, so we’ve purposefully positioned it at accessible price.”

As part of the effort to boost its bottom line, Clarins is altering its approach to advertising for the Multi-Active campaign. Zrihen said Clarins is expected to invest about 20 percent of its total media spend in online advertising. “It’s much easier to do an integrated approach with this age group,” explained Zrihen.

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