NEW YORK — Bernd Beetz is, well, glowing about the success of Glow by J.Lo, Lancaster’s newest fragrance.
"There are four other fragrances that I am aware of that have sold $40 million in their first four months on counter — CK One, [Lancôme’s] Miracle, [Chanel’s] Allure and [Christian Dior’s] J’Adore," said Beetz, the chief executive officer of Coty Inc. "Now, Glow, Jennifer Lopez’s fragrance for us, is joining that exclusive club. We think we’re well on the way to [a] $100 million [launch year]."
Even in a tough retail economy that saw a number of fragrance launches this fall, Glow is, by all accounts, thriving. "We are having problems keeping everyone supplied, which is a good problem to have," Beetz said. Retail reports bear this out: In a recent WWD survey of holiday fragrance sales, the scent made the top 5 of nearly every major department store retailer polled. Leslie Winick, vice president and divisional merchandise manager of fragrances for Macy’s East, said: "J.Lo just can’t be beat." J.Lo is believed to be the retailer’s largest fragrance launch since CK One. Echoed Jon Pollack, executive vice president and general merchandise manager of Belk’s: "The Jennifer Lopez fragrance has been spectacular and continues to be strong." He added that it has "taken off like a rocket" since its early third-quarter launch. "These numbers are huge. It’s universal in its appeal, [which is] younger overall, but it’s crossing over into all segments of society."
The scent is currently available in about 2,000 department and specialty store doors in the U.S.
Beetz said that the company’s overall goal is to develop lifestyle brands that "capture the zeitgeist of the modern consumer."
"However, we don’t want to be a flash in the pan —?we believe that the brands we are developing, particularly Glow, have the potential to become classics," Beetz said. "Our goal is to establish major franchises, as we’re doing with Jennifer, and as we have done with Davidoff."
And Beetz is obviously not wasting any time —?which is evident in the chronology of Glow, from the signing of the deal to the fragrance’s appearance on shelf. Lopez signed her deal with the Coty-owned Lancaster Group Worldwide at the beginning of 2002, and the fragrance hit shelves in September (it was available in travel retail through Lufthansa in August).The juice, a mix intended to be reminiscent of freshly washed skin, includes top notes of neroli, orange blossom and pink grapefruit; middle notes of rose, sandalwood and amber, and soft musk, jasmine, orris and vanilla in the bottom notes. The bottle is an asymmetric matte glass in a shape reminiscent of a torso and hips. A rhinestone J.Lo insignia dangles from the bottle’s neck.
"I have to give the team tremendous credit for the focused way in which they helped make this fragrance happen," said Beetz, giving credit not only to his internal team but to the oil house, Quest International, with which the company worked. "And our retailer partners have been incredible. We presented to them very late, which meant that they had to rearrange their plans. But they saw the potential and made room for it at counter."
While he emphasizes that the fragrance has broad age appeal —?"It wouldn’t be doing the numbers that it is doing if it didn’t," he said — Beetz is particularly proud of the way that the scent is scoring with teens and shoppers in their early 20s. "We promised our retailers that we would help them bring a new crowd into department stores, and that has happened with this scent," he said. "We had 15- to 20-year-olds in mind, in particular, when we were formulating the scent."
Beetz noted that there are plans in place to expand the Lopez franchise, although he declined to be more specific. On a recent "Late Show With David Letterman" appearance, however, Lopez herself was less cagey, saying that she was already at work on her second scent for the company. As well, the brand —?currently available in about 10 markets, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Germany —?will begin rolling out to additional global markets, including Latin America and Southern Europe, over the next several months, Beetz said. By yearend 2003, it is slated to be available in about 20 of the company’s 40 global subsidiaries, he said.
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