NEW YORK — Sometimes big sales come from small products.
This story first appeared in the August 9, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
That’s the hope of a new company called Swab Plus. Swab Plus markets cotton swabs filled with fluid to remove different types of makeup. For example, there are swabs for removing eye makeup, waterproof mascara, lipstick, overnight lip revitalizers and nail polish. There is also a swab featuring a cuticle treatment.
Users simply snap one end of the swab, which is pre-filled with a measured amount of the formula. There is no waste and no mess and the products provide a sanitary solution to makeup removal, according to Mark Smith, vice president of sales for the company based in Pomona, Calif.
Makeup removers are growing in importance, especially as women opt for more long-wearing makeup formulas. According to Information Resources Inc., nail polish remover sales were almost $60 million for the 52-week period ended February 24, 2002. Makeup removers add another $30 million in sales. Both totals exclude Wal-Mart. Swab Plus hopes to nab about 10 percent of the beauty remover business.
Since most retailers don’t have a dedicated area devoted to makeup removers, Smith suggested multiple locations. For example, the nail swabs near nail care and the makeup remover in peg cosmetics. Swab Plus offers merchandising vehicles such as floor displays and clip strips for hanging the packages.
There is a 12-count package with a suggested retail of 99 cents and a 72-count retailing for $3.99. A 24-count package is in the plans, Smith said. The beauty remover items are currently stocked in chains such as Walgreens, Rite Aid, American Stores, Eckerd and Kroger.
The company originally started marketing first-aid products using the swab technology and branched into beauty last year. Several buyers selected the swabs as an exciting debut at the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ Marketplace held in San Diego last June.
Swab Plus is one of the suppliers showing at the upcoming Efficient Promotion Planning Sessions conference for cosmetics to be held from August 11-14 in Orlando, Fla. Among the 60-plus vendors set for the show are Bonne Bell, Jane, Jordana, Lotta Luv, AM Cosmetics, New Dana and Maybelline.
Nail color is going three-dimensional. Hoping to keep the momentum going in nail color, Sally Hansen has created Nail Prisms. The eight shades feature specs of color creating the look of a hologram. Suggested retail for Nail Prisms is $5.95. Last year, Sally Hansen scored big with its Chrome Nail Makeup, which quickly sold out across the country, prompting sales of the enamels on eBay. Beauty editors were recently treated to a manicure to see how the Prisms work.
Sally Hansen won’t be the only contender for consumers looking to let their digits dazzle. Revlon is also planning a shimmering metallic polish in 10 shades, called Color Illusion.