NEW YORK — Eckerd wants to turn its beauty department into a summer destination.

In a new “Summer Essentials” promotion, conceived in conjunction with Primedia publications Woman’s Day, Elle and Elle Girl, Eckerd will offer coupon discounts on some 12 beauty items valid through June. The event also includes Eckerd’s Genovese branch stores.

An advertorial will appear in each of the magazines, tailored for its specific readership, that will emphasize Eckerd’s everyday low cosmetics prices and provide application and usage tips on the featured products.

Participating manufacturers include: Cover Girl Multiplying mascara, Oxy Daily Cleansing Pads, Pantene shampoo and conditioner, Nivea Silky Shimmer Lotion, Olay Complete Body Wash, Schick Intuition shaver, Nice ‘n Easy hair color and Olay Total Effects, among others.

With the Summer Essentials event, there will be in-store signage, tagging of each participating product, as well as in-store radio broadcasts announcing the promotion.

Mini-makeovers will be available at stores in Eckerd’s top five markets — Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta and Houston. Additionally, a sweepstakes tie-in gives women the chance to win a beach bag filled with products valued at $95.

For two years, Eckerd has been building up its beauty presence. It has introduced its own cosmetics line — Mira — that is being expanded into skin care this year. Stores were retrofitted with a new universal fixture and beauty advisers were added. Currently, 1,700 of Eckerd’s larger stores have advisers and the program continues to expand as new doors are opened.

As part of its beauty push, Eckerd also introduced a low price program touting “10 percent off ever day.” Last year a slogan was unveiled — “Feeling Beautiful Starts Here.”

Laurel Kimbrow, advertising and marketing supervisor at Eckerd, said, “We are always looking for new ways to get customers’ attention.”

Presently, the drugstore chain is starting to work on a new signing initiative for its beauty departments. “The beauty department is a serious target for us.”

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