MILAN — Major beauty retailers and manufacturers here are broadening their scope and extending their reach into the daily lives of their consumers.
Both Rinascente and Sephora are among those opening their first flagships in Rome.
To become closer to Italian clients, Aveda held its first Master Jam session here, an educational forum with master classes and styling and color demonstrations. Attendance, which came in at 1,033, beat expectations by almost 100 percent.
"In order to touch more customers, we put Master Jam on the road," said Dominique Conseil, president of Aveda, who added that the company's European business grew 20 percent in 2006 over 2005. He said he would like to see Aveda generate 60 percent of its business outside the U.S., which now accounts for almost 40 percent.
On the retail front, luxury perfumery chain Mazzolari inaugurated its 7,000-square-foot addition by hosting a one-month Chanel promotion centered on the launch of the brand's five-item extension Body Excellence line in its Precision skin care collection. Makeup artists were working upstairs while free appointments were being booked for treatments in three rooms downstairs.
"Together, it makes 1,400 square meters [or 14,000 square feet], which is bigger than Rinascente's perfumery," said Antonella Mandelli, general manager of Mazzolari. "It will look like one coherent space. We need to give good visibility to things that deserve it."
She explained the overall space, which should be integrated in six months, would be arranged into dedicated product areas for hair, men's toiletries, nail care, body care, skin care, makeup and fragrance. Mazzolari has steadily been adding different aspects of lifestyle merchandising, such as home furnishing and a spa.
The Rinascente department store also updated the way it divides selling space. It opened a renovated flagship in central Milan in October, and since then, its beauty sales have increased 35 percent year-on-year, according to Simone Destefanis, divisional manager for cosmetics and well-being. The retailer is searching for a partner to install an in-store nail and brow salon.
Since the renovation, Destefanis said, Rinascente has cut back its discount to 10 percent; some local retailers give 20 percent reductions. "This is a first step for us," he said, adding his intention was to take the discount to zero.Sephora is scheduled to open its 3,000-square-foot, two-story Rome flagship on Saturday. Laura Schiatti, director of Sephora acquisitions and marketing, said she hoped it would be the biggest-grossing store of the chain's 104 units in Italy.
To place a positive image of Versace beauty in consumers' minds, Euroitalia has mounted an unprecedented advertising attack behind its first full women's fragrance launch of Versace under its new license with the famed design house. Four- to six-page magazine inserts and 60-second spots on three Italian TV channels are backing the introduction.
Giovanni Sgariboldi, president of Euroitalia, speculated the money spent was a record for a fragrance launch in Italy, especially since the onslaught comes outside the holiday season. He vowed to do the same overseas.
Diego Della Palma has reinvented a classic skin care line called Concura, which is being launched in the Italian market.
Cosmetics manufacturer Collistar speaks directly to its clientele through very specific, information-driven advertising. It also published a magazine on its products with text translated into 16 languages.
"Everybody today is talking to the consumer; we really do that," said Paolo Bevegni, international director of Collister. "We explain how our product works, give its price and take the consumer's hand to lead her to the perfumery."
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