By  on December 16, 1994

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- It's a brave new world at Giorgio Beverly Hills.

The upscale fragrance manufacturer, which was acquired by soap and detergent giant Procter & Gamble Co. in July, is ready to prove to the industry -- and to itself -- that it can become an even larger player in the prestige market.

P&G has made several moves since the acquisition to show it is serious about a market it hardly knows. The company:
Merged its Eurocos division into Giorgio in the U.S., giving Giorgio control over the Eurocos brands Hugo Boss, Boss Elements, Laura Biagiotti Venezia and Laura Biagiotti Roma. In Europe, where Eurocos is strongest, the Giorgio brands will be distributed by Eurocos.

Boosted the U.S. Giorgio sales force by 15 to 54.

Developed initiatives to control diversion of Giorgio brands, including a door-by-door analysis to insure the firm is growing its business in an appropriate manner.

Identified stocks of counterfeit Giorgio products and investigated the sources of bogus merchandise.

Kept Giorgio's California staff intact instead of moving in P&G executives, which it has done in other cosmetics and fragrance acquisitions.

Named Giorgio president and chief executive officer Linda LoRe an officer of P&G; she is one of only 11 female officers in the company.

These moves are a relief to Giorgio observers, some of whom joked the firm would become Giorgio Cincinnati, named after the location of P&G's corporate headquarters.

LoRe said earlier this week that P&G has ushered in a new era with new opportunities for the firm, which was owned by Avon Products Inc. for the past five years.

"P&G does not believe in going half way in anything they do," LoRe said in her first interview since the acquisition. "They always believe in being a leader, both with resources and brands."

Giorgio did a reported $165 million in wholesale volume worldwide in 1993. Eurocos posted a worldwide wholesale volume of $165 million during P&G's last fiscal year, which ended June 30. Acquiring Giorgio will boost P&G's prestige and mass market fragrance volume to $500 million, the company has said.

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