By  on January 25, 2007

NEW YORK — A new wellness center on Manhattan's West Side is targeting those looking to mellow out.

Yelo, as the space is called, offers reflexology and aromatherapy and promotes a concept that has yet to take hold in the high-energy, corporate environment: the power nap.

Within the 1,800-square-foot space, there are seven private cabines, dubbed "Yelo cabs," where clients can drift off for between 20 and 40 minutes. Each cabine measures about 60 square feet and customers can specify lighting and music preferences, everything from classical and jazz to white noise and the sound of the sea.

A 30-minute reflexology and sleep session goes for $65 and a 90-minute reflexology session costs $125. There's a retail area in the front of Yelo that measures about 500 square feet, where brands such as Sprayology, Jane Inc. and Flare are sold. A so-called "simulated sunrise" — the cabine lighting gradually brightens — is designed to bring clients out of their daytime slumber.

"The color yellow is associated with joy, warmth and safety," said founder Nicolas Ronco discussing the inspiration for the wellness center's moniker in an interview last week. He said napping increases alertness and productivity, and added it had been estimated that Americans would spend $5 billion on sleep aids by 2008.

Market sources estimated Yelo would generate total sales of $1.6 million in its first year, and increase that figure to nearly $4 million in the third year with the addition of more locations. A Yelo product line is also in development for the coming fall.

Yelo's inaugural location is expected to be fully completed by Jan 29. And while agreements have yet to be signed, Ronco is exploring the idea of reviving the corporate nap by teaming with major corporations to put Yelo cabs in offices. He'd also like to put Yelo cabs in airports.

Ronco said he planned to open as many as 50 Yelo locations in several major cities, including Chicago, London and San Francisco, as part of a 10-year plan.

Inter Parfums 4Q Sales Soar 37%
PARIS — Inter Parfums Inc. said this week that sales for the fourth quarter jumped 37 percent, to $90.3 million from the same period a year ago, and Inter Parfums SA, the Paris subsidiary of Inter Parfums Inc., posted fourth-quarter 2006 sales up 18 percent year-on-year, to 55 million euros, or $71.2 million at average exchange.Adjusted for foreign exchange, sales of Inter Parfums Inc. rose 34 percent. For the full year, Inter Parfums Inc. sales hit $321.1 million, a 17 percent rise from 2005. Sales for 2006 reflected a 16 percent gain.

The New York firm is projecting 2006 profits of $17.2 million to $17.5 million, or 84 cents to 85 cents per diluted share, up from a previous guidance of $16.9 million, or 83 cents per diluted share. It plans to report the final tally in March.

Inter Parfums SA reported 11 percent growth for the full year, to 216.2 million euros, or $279.8 million. Looking ahead, it predicts 2007 sales will spike 13 percent, to hit 245 million euros, or $318 million at current exchange, on the back of its enlarged brand portfolio, which includes recently acquired beauty licenses for Quiksilver and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Inter Parfums SA said in a statement that new lines, including Burberry London and Paul Smith Story, boosted sales for the 12-month period ended Dec. 31.

By brand, Burberry was up 10 percent, to 144.8 million euros, or $187.4 million at average exchange, for the full year; Lanvin rose 19 percent, to 35.1 million euros, or $45.4 million; Paul Smith spiked 22 percent, to 17.7 million euros, or $22.9 million; S.T. Dupont was up 15 percent, to 10.1 million euros, or $13 million; Nickel grew by 34 percent, to 4.2 million euros, or $5.4 million, and sales at Christian Lacroix slumped 17 percent, to 4.1 million euros, or $5.3 million.

By region, business in Eastern Europe rose 24 percent versus 2005, while Asia delivered 16 percent year-on-year growth. Western Europe continues to be the firm's biggest market, generating 30 percent of total sales in 2006.

The firm said it would introduce an inaugural fragrance for Roxy in the fall. It acquired the beauty license for Quiksilver Inc., which owns Roxy, in 2006. The firm said its first product developed under license to jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels would bow in 2008. — Ellen Groves

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