NEW YORK — BlissWorld LLC opened its first U.S. QuickBliss, a counter equipped to perform spa services, in Bloomingdale’s flagship on Lexington and 59th Street last week. The Bloomingdale’s counter is the first in what the company said is scheduled to be a nationwide rollout in department stores over the next several years. The first QuickBliss launched last fall in London in Harvey Nichols.

QuickBliss counters are designed to conveniently service stool-perched shoppers with manicures, waxing and facials in an openenvironment. All treatments are 30 minutes long, with the exception of lip, chin and brow waxing, which will take approximately 15 minutes. The counter accepts appointments but also can accommodate customer drop-bys. QuickBliss is located on Bloomingdale’s cosmetics floor, surrounded by Bobbi Brown, Trish McEvoy and Prescriptives counters. A customer launch event is scheduled for Oct. 4 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and will offer free Super Sleeping Peel facials, a $45 value. Bliss founder Marcia Kilgore is scheduled to attend the event.

— Andrea M.G. Nagel

Jaqua’s Pet Project

NEW YORK — Allison Jaqua went back to the roots to create an all-natural, organic skin care line called Rudy & Coco.

The co-founder and creative director of Jaqua Girls Inc. left the company in February to strike out on her own. The newly formed venture is named after Jaqua’s first two pets: Rudy, a guinea pig and Coco, a Siamese cat. [With her departure, Jaqua Girls was renamed Jaqua.]

Rudy & Coco is positioned as natural and organic “gourmet skin care.” The company’s mission is to combine the best and latest advances in natural skin care, aromatherapy and herbal science to create its products, which contain ingredients that Jaqua claims will be unique to the market. The first products are slated to debut in October.

“I realized that every single one of the natural products I found on the market had unnatural preservatives,” said Jaqua. She set out to find a natural preservative that had a long shelf life. Jaqua, while “searching high and low,” finally came across a company called Bio-Botanica in Hauppauge, N.Y., that manufactures a preservative called Biopein. “It can stand up against all the chemical preservatives on the market and is 100 percent natural, which almost nobody can say,” noted Jaqua.The lineup includes: Rosemary and Fennel Hand and Foot Cream, which will retail for $24 for 4 oz.; Ginseng and Thyme Salt Scrub, $28 for 6 oz.; Cranberry Seed Oil Eye Cream, priced at $32 for 2 oz.; Cranberry Seed Oil Moisturizing Cream at $30 for 4 oz.; Black Raspberry Seed and Pomegranate Facial Scrub, priced at $26 for 6 oz.; Olive Oil & Lime Body Butter will retail for $28 for 4 oz., and Sage and Honey Face Mask, $29 for 4 oz. Plans are to add two products to the collection by next fall.

Industry sources estimate the line could generate as much as $1 million at retail and expect that sales will double the second year.

Jaqua designed the packaging and wanted it to be “something that gave a sense of having been around for a long time” so it boasts an “old fashioned-looking label” in earth-tone colors. The line will launch in about 200 doors such as Henri Bendel and C.O. Bigelow, with plans to expand distribution to Canada and Europe in 2004.

— Kristin Finn

More Allou Woes

NEW YORK — Bankrupt Allou Distributors Inc. will find out its fate on Sept. 16 when the bankruptcy court is scheduled to hear a trustee’s motion to convert Allou from a Chapter 11 debtor to one under Chapter 7, which would result in liquidation of the firm.

A week earlier, on Sept. 9, there will be a hearing in Brooklyn bankruptcy court on the validity of the involuntary Chapter 7 petitions filed against members of the Jacobs family: Herman, Victor and Jacob. The petitions against the individuals, who were majority shareholders and either officers or directors of Allou, were filed on June 30 by the same three creditors who also forced Allou into bankruptcy in April: Congress Financial Corp., Citibank N.A. and LaSalle Business Credit Inc.

The creditors provided loans to Allou and are seeking to prevent the Jacobs family from “using, dissipating [or] assigning” assets held by them. According to court records, the three individuals signed a limited guaranty in connection with the loan agreement in which they “jointly and severally guaranteed the payment of $10 million of Allou’s obligations to the lenders.” The creditors in the Allou bankruptcy petition said they are owed $178 million.As reported, the three individuals were part of a group of eight who were arrested on Aug. 12 in connection with fraud charges related to the collapse of Allou following a suspicious fire at a warehouse last September.

— Vicki M. Young

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