By  on July 7, 2008

Inter Parfums Inc. will add another name to its specialty retail supply business with the expected signing today of a deal with Bebe Stores Inc. to create personal care products for the retailer.

The beauty firm has reached an exclusive, worldwide agreement with the women's fashion retailer that calls for the design, manufacture and distribution of Bebe cosmetics, fragrances and bath and body care products in the U.S. and internationally.

Under the six-year pact, which includes a trio of three-year renewal options that potentially could extend the deal to a total of 15 years, the firms plan to launch Bebe lip gloss tubes in three shades at the retailer's 300 company-owned stores in the U.S. and Canada by November.

Then, for Mother's Day, a signature women's fragrance collection is slated to be launched at Bebe stores, although a name has not been decided upon yet. The Bebe fragrance line is expected to include multiple sizes of an eau de parfum and ancillary products.

Additionally, for fall 2009, Inter Parfums executives are looking to roll out Bebe beauty products to department and specialty stores abroad as well as travel retail locations.

The two-pronged, domestic and international structure of the Bebe deal is similar to agreements Inter Parfums has with Gap Inc. and Brooks Brothers. These agreements call for the specialty retail division of Inter Parfums to handle each chain's domestic beauty business, while also allowing Inter Parfums to distribute the respective beauty brands internationally under license.

"This has become a major part of our business model," said Andy Clarke, president of the specialty retail division of Inter Parfums USA, a subsidiary of New York-based Inter Parfums Inc. "Bebe is really our first sexy fragrance. It also strengthens the growth of our specialty retail division."

In addition to the Brooks Bros. and Gap brands — and now Bebe — the specialty retail division of Inter Parfums also includes the Banana Republic and New York & Company brands.

During its most recent quarter, which ended March 31, Inter Parfums reported that total revenues were up 45 percent to $123.2 million and the firm attributed growth in the U.S. to "continued strength" of its specialty retail business.Bebe, whose revenues dipped 1.7 percent to $151.7 million during the quarter ended April 5, has dabbled in the fragrance business as recently as 2004, when the Brisbane, Calif.-based firm launched a scent it developed internally. That effort was more limited in scope than the current project with Inter Parfums, however, and was said to have fallen short of the retailer's expectations.

So, since Bebe approached Inter Parfums more than six months ago, the two firms have been hammering out a deal, noted Clarke.

"We have always believed that fragrance is a natural extension of our brand," stated Gregory Scott, Bebe's chief executive officer. "Additionally, the launch of a global fragrance in combination with our increasing international presence supports our objective to build our brand globally."

The Bebe customer, and hence the target demographic for Bebe beauty, according to Kristin Spinn, director of marketing for Inter Parfums USA, will be women 22 to 45 years old. The "sweet spot" of this age group, added Spinn, is the 25- to 28-year-old woman.

"She is a sexy, modern, sophisticated woman and extremely loyal to Bebe," said Spinn.

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