By  on August 19, 2008

LOS ANGELES — British skin care brand Nude has begun the second phase of a multichannel U.S. launch strategy that involves distribution in both the mass and prestige markets.

The London-based natural treatment line, which made its U.S. debut at Barneys New York last year, began rolling out earlier this month to 60 top-performing Sephora stores with 15 stockkeeping units, noted Nude co-owner Bryan Meehan, who said he anticipates the brand rolling out across the chain.

Later this year and early 2009, Nude will kick off the third leg of its expansion effort with a substantial presence in Whole Foods, where it is now being tested in about six Texas stores.

“There has been a big trend toward cosmeceutical brands in the past five years. At the same time, natural brands weren’t offering a suitable alternative because a lot of people thought they didn’t work,” said Meehan, who founded U.K. organic produce retailer Fresh & Wild, which was bought by Whole Foods in 2004. “We are trying to change that perception. Sephora customers are quite sophisticated, and there is no point in having a load of hippie natural brands on the shelf that are actually not going to do much for your skin.”

Nude products expected to be the line’s bestsellers in Sephora are the 6.8-oz. Cleansing Facial Oil for $52, the 1.4-oz. Miracle Mask for $70, the 0.5-oz. Advanced Smoothing Complex for $90 and the six-item Getting Nude kit in normal to combination and normal to dry skin varieties for $78. The brand’s supplements will likely join the assortment next year.

With the push into Sephora, Meehan estimated that U.S. sales would increase from 20 to 50 percent of Nude’s total revenues. The brand is currently carried only in the U.S. and the U.K., but is slated in February to bow in Asia.

Meehan said the brand is “on track” for meeting a goal of generating $50 million annually at wholesale worldwide by the end of 2012, the fifth year following its launch. “The bottom line is that America is going to be big for us,” he said.

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