NEW YORK — Retailer Coldwater Creek has entered the bath and body category, joining the growing number of apparel retailers launching pampering beauty lines.Coldwater Creek, a multi-channel merchandiser of women’s apparel and accessories, generates approximately $500 million annually through its 39 stores, three catalog titles and Web site. The bath line first arrived in select Coldwater Creek stores in August. It is launching nationally throughout the third quarter. The line is expected to generate $1 million in retail sales by Christmas.According to Matt Dillon, Coldwater Creek’s vice president of merchandising, bath and body was a natural extension for the Sandpoint, Idaho-based retailer. "We were carrying some private label potpourri that was performing so well we felt that we needed to do something to try to offer more products for our customer." Products are merchandised on wood fixtures in varying places in stores. The line, which consists of 21 stockkeeping units, was 1 1/2 years in the making. A team of between five and seven people, many of whom have experience working for beauty firms, helped cultivate the line. Early on in Dillon’s career, for example, he ran Bullock’s cosmetics department. "We also did a lot of competitive shopping with bath lines by retailers Talbots and Banana Republic."Coldwater Creek’s bath and body line is comprised of three fragrance groups, each of which contains seven products: body wash, bar soap, body lotion, candles, body crème, eau de cologne and potpourri. Fragrances include Pale Jade, a clean scent with a hint of citrus; Night Jasmine, a light floral, and Watersilk, which has top notes of green leaf and lavender. Products target Coldwater Creek’s core customer, a 35-to-55-year old, upper middle-class woman. The company learned that it’s not always best to tailor a line after fragrance trends. Dillon said market research showed that green scents were the most popular, but so far Night Jasmine, a floral, has been the best-selling fragrance in the line. "Some of us knew in our stomach that we would sell a floral better, and we do." Coldwater Creek will feature the bath and body line for the first time in its Oct. 1 Spirit and Elements catalogs.

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