Carol's Daughter and HSN are building a profitable partnership. In its initial outing on the channel earlier this month, Carol's Daughter "substantially outperformed our initial estimations," said Mindy Grossman, chief executive officer of IAC Retailing, HSN's parent company. While she wouldn't discuss specific sales figures, industry sources estimated the indie brand, founded by Lisa Price in her Brooklyn kitchen in 1994, is on track to do as much as $5 million in its first year on HSN.

"From the second Lisa went on the air, we had a significant call volume," said Grossman. (One surprise call-in guest added a little star power: Mary J. Blige, a longtime fan of the brand.) "We put several products on hsn.com two days before the first show, and they sold out in less than a day. We then significantly increased the amounts of products available on both the Web site and the TV appearances. We'd planned to do four shows, but we had to cancel the last one because we ran out of products. The exciting thing for me was seeing the passion of the callers and how connected they are with Lisa. She has a way about her that is so authentic."

The brand's success on the channel comes as no surprise to Steve Stoute, chairman of Carol's Daughter, who got involved with the brand three years ago, setting up a celebrity-studded investor group which included Tommy Mottola, Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith. Under Stoute's stewardship, Carol's Daughter has evolved from what once was billed as a niche urban brand into a comprehensive beauty line for women of all shades, with annual sales said to exceed $30 million.

The brand is currently in all U.S. Sephora stores, select Macy's and Dillard's doors, eight freestanding Carol's Daughter stores and at carolsdaughter.com.

"Carol's Daughter is perfect for television because it's such a natural story," said Michael Henry, senior vice president of beauty merchandising for HSN. "Lisa's passion and credibility comes out when she's on air and it's hard not to fall in love with her and her products." Top products, Henry said, included Body Aches Bath Salts, Healthy Hair Butter and the Soufflé Trio Sampler. More than 3,000 units of the bath salts were sold in a 15-minute period, and more than 3,300 units of the souffle sold in 23 minutes, Henry said. Prior to the launch, HSN sold out of all six items it previewed on its Web site before the airing, Henry added.— Julie Naughton

Eau Henri


PARIS — Henri Bendel has teamed up with the irreverent French brand Etat Libre d'Orange to create a limited edition fragrance due out in June.

Called Bendelirious, it was concocted by Givaudan's Antoine Lie and includes iris, leather, cherry lollipop, violet and pink peppercorn notes and a champagne accord. The 50-ml. bottles of eau de parfum will be sold at Henri Bendel in New York, which already carries Etat Libre d'Orange fragrances, and the Etat Libre d'Orange store in Paris.

— Jennifer Weil

Autogrill Gets Duty Free OK

LONDON —
Autogrill has been given the green light by the European Commission to acquire airport retailer World Duty Free. As reported, Autogrill, an Italian restaurant and retail company, announced in March its plans to purchase WDF, the British Airport Authority's retail division. The deal makes Autogrill the world's largest travel-retail operator. The company also owns Aldeasa, which runs stores in airports and museums, as well as airport services company Alpha Airports.

— Brid Costello

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