NEW YORK — Four-year-old Sexy Hair Concepts is squeezing out a fresh, juicy 10-product hair care line in November, called Michael O’Rourke’s Fresh Concepts.

Named for the brand’s founder and chief executive officer, the line is intended to offer nutritious food ingredients in hair care products.

“Michael feels he took the company to the next level when he developed this health-conscious line of hair care,” said Donna Federici, senior vice president of marketing at Sexy Hair Concepts. “This line is meant to engage the wide age demographic of our style-conscious customers.”

Products range in price from $7.95 to $18.95. Watermelon-infused Vitamelon Daily Shampoo and orange-mango-pomelo-scented Rejuicinate Moisture Shampoo both come in 13.5-fl.-oz. bottles for $13.95. Bananarama Daily Conditioner flourishes with banana flavor and Vitalitea Moisture Conditioner bursts with cantaloupe-honeydew hints, both retailing at $14.95 for 10.1-fl.-oz bottles.

Styling products include pear-flavored RePear Reconstructor and Plum Strait-Straightening Balm, both $16.95 for 6.8 fl. oz.; apple-orange infused Core Strength Hard Holding Gel, $11.95 for 6.8 fl. oz.; coconut-vanilla Whey Better Leave-In Conditioner, $13.95 for 10.1 fl. oz.; citrus Massive A-peel Volumizing Mousse, $13.95 for 8.8 fl. oz., and PearSpray Hairspray, $13.95 for 10.6 oz.

Each bright-colored container has a scratch-and-sniff label, inspirational quote and “nutrition facts” to make product selection fun and informative, said Federici.

Sexy Hair Concepts is currently available in 60,000 doors, including professional salon and spa chains, J.C. Penney and beauty supply stores, such as Beauty First and Trade Secret. Promotion occurs through sampling and hair stylist education sessions and is expected to reach about $61 million in 2003 and $70 million in 2004, according to industry sources.

Sexy Hair Concepts is also focusing on international expansion and is targeting 65,000 doors in 2003 and 70,000 doors in 2004, while remaining in its spa and salon market, said Federici.



Eckerd Sale Still in Question

A J.C. Penney spokesman denied published reports circulating late Monday that it had launched a formal auction seeking bidders for its Eckerd drugstore chain. As reported, J.C. Penney has been considering shedding the Florida-based operation, which accounts for 45 percent of the company’s business. “We are going to make a decision on Eckerd by the end of the fiscal year ending Jan. 31,” said the spokesman. “That’s been our position all along.”Penney’s September comp store sales came in lower than expected, sending its share price down 2.6 percent to $21.38 when reported Sept. 29. While sales at its catalog and Internet divisions performed above plan, comps at Eckerd came in lower than expected, which had been for comps to remain flat. Its stock rebounded Monday, up 1.93 percent, closing at $23.25.

In separate news, J.C. Penney, as reported, said it would open a store in Korea, at a site in downtown Seoul that would be operational by 2005. The lease contract is for five years. The retail operation would expand on Penney’s existing catalog business in the region.

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