LADY PRIMROSE TO BOW AT NEIMAN MARCUS

Byline: Holly Haber

DALLAS--Neiman Marcus next month will launch a gift-oriented bath and body line developed by Lady Primrose's Products, a firm owned by oil heiress and hotelier Caroline Rose Hunt and a partner, Vivian Young.
The collection first appeared in 1991 for use in the rooms of the Lanesborough Hotel, a luxury hotel in London managed by Hunt's Rosewood Hotels & Resorts company. Since then it's been sold only at Lady Primrose's Shopping English Countryside here, an antique store and tea room owned by Hunt and Young.
Called Lady Primrose's Royal Bathing & Skin Luxuries, the line gets its name from its use of royal jelly, a concoction created by worker honeybees and fed only to the queen of the hive. The complex of 10 vitamins and 22 amino acids is said to have restorative properties. Virgin comb honey, touted as a natural moisturizer, is another key ingredient.
Neiman's 27 doors will be the only other retail outlet for the products until Jan. 1. Neither Neiman's nor Primrose officials would disclose sales projections, but a source familiar with the deal estimated the line would do $300,000 to $400,000 this fall throughout the chain.
"This is something that would relate to our customer," said John Stabaneau, vice president and divisional merchandise manager at Neiman's. "The products are very upscale, and a lot of thought has gone into researching and developing them."
Stabaneau expects Primrose to be one of Neiman's top five bath lines this fall.
"The bath products business is doing excellently," he said. "It's running substantially ahead. We have a good selection, and people are interested in gifts, and they're buying it for themselves, as well."
The line is packaged specifically for gift-giving. It includes bath gel housed in an 8-oz. acrylic honey pot with a honey dipper. Bath gel also comes in a 9.5-oz. etched crystal decanter.
Other items include body lotion in a crystal decanter, dusting powder in glass or silverplated sugar shakers, bath crystals in a cut-crystal biscuit barrel, bath salts scented with a choice of four fragrances in crystal decanters and floral cream and mango glycerin soaps in honeycomb shapes, some of which are bundled together in a copper wire container.
Prices range from $7.50 for two 3-oz. soaps to $89 for the silverplated shaker of dusting powder. Plastic 8-oz. refill bottles of the moisturizer and bath gel are $15 each.
Neiman's will merchandise a Primrose gift set containing the honey pot bath gel, skin moisturizer decanter, two soaps and dusting silk in the glass shaker for $130. The items are presented on a silver tray.
The retailer plans to combine various products in gift baskets and boxes.
"It's a gift-giving item, and once the customer tries it, they'll come back and use it," Stabaneau said.
Young, a partner in Primrose, asserted that sales of the line in the Lady Primrose shop increased 28 percent last year. She declined, however, to disclose volume.
The dusting powder has been the bestseller.
Neiman's expects to stage special events to push the line in all stores in October and November, but plans aren't complete. The retailer also hopes to host an appearance here by Hunt, a prominent local businesswoman and daughter of oil tycoon H.L. Hunt.

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