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Orlane Hopes B21 Will Lift U.S. Sales

NEW YORK — Orlane Paris has beefed up B21, which is not only the high-end French treatment brand’s core offering, but also the centerpiece of a recent revitalization of Orlane’s nearly 40-year-old U.S. business.<br><br>The brand has...

NEW YORK — Orlane Paris has beefed up B21, which is not only the high-end French treatment brand’s core offering, but also the centerpiece of a recent revitalization of Orlane’s nearly 40-year-old U.S. business.

The brand has launched a pair of facial moisturizers called B21 Bio-Energic Fluidratante. Orlane is hoping the products will boost sales of the B21 range and, in turn, its U.S. skin care sales as a whole, which account for 90 percent of a $13.5 million business here, according to industry estimates.

“The B21 family is the most upscale and important part of Orlane’s skin care line,” said Luigi Rivetti, vice president and general manager of Orlane Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Paris-based Orlane S.A. B21, however, hasn’t been Orlane’s only emphasis in recent years. “The goal in the U.S., beginning in the mid-Nineties,” Rivetti said, “has been to revamp and re-establish the image of the brand and to clean up its distribution.”

Marcia Appel, vice president of sales for Orlane Inc., pointed to last month’s launch of Fluidratante.

The Fluidratante pair — a cream and a mousse — began selling at 35 Saks Fifth Avenue doors and 20 Neiman Marcus locations late last month and will roll out to Orlane’s full complement of 110 U.S. doors, including 20 Bloomingdale’s units, early next year. Results from the initial doors indicate that 300 of the creams ($150 for a 50-ml. pump) and 100 of the mousses ($75 for a 75-ml. can) have sold out, according to sources. Orlane does not break out projections, but industry sources estimate that first-year U.S. sales of Fluidratante, an extension of B21, will reach 10,000 units.

The revamp Rivetti discussed included initiatives like reducing Orlane’s U.S. distribution from an estimated 300 to 400 doors a decade ago. Also, the overall product offering, including color cosmetics, was “cleaned up,” said Rivetti, and a B21 promotional calendar of facial events and informational brochures was instituted.

Orlane markets about 250 stockkeeping units in the U.S., with skin care representing 90 percent of the business and color cosmetics and fragrance making up the balance. U.S. prices range from $42.50 for a cleanser to $450 for a specialized treatment regimen. A jar of cream can cost $80 to $200.

The Fluidratante cream is designed to be used once or twice a day and the mousse is designed to be used as needed throughout the week. The mousse has a higher concentration of Bio-Energic — a complex of wheat germ protein, soybean fiber extract and sodium hyaluronate — for more immediate effects. The Bio-Energic complex was combined with water plant extracts and another plant-based ingredient called Hydra-Source in Fluidratante to purportedly boost the skin’s energy and moisture for cell renewal and radiance.

Support for Fluidratante will include cooperative packette-in-brochure mailer programs with Neiman’s and Saks, which will target about 50,000 existing Orlane customers. Plans are in place to send out 75,000 to 100,000 of the mailers in the spring. Additionally, a deluxe sampling program will be conducted at retail.