By and  on November 4, 2005

NEW YORK — After three years of alluding to how it will supercharge mass market beauty sales, Revlon has pulled back the curtain on two initiatives designed to reinvent how women shop for cosmetics.

Revlon's plans include the overhaul of Almay and the introduction of a new brand designed for women over 50 called Vital Radiance.

Referring to both the Almay revamp and Vital Radiance as "two important steps forward," Revlon president and chief executive officer Jack Stahl said in an interview, "This is just the beginning for us to build a new platform." Industry sources expect the two initiatives to have a retail sales impact of $180 million in 2006.

The moves, which will bow this spring, come after several years of housekeeping efforts on the company's flagship brand, Revlon. During Stahl's watch, the company has restaged three Revlon franchises, namely SuperLustrous, Age Defying and ColorStay, which will relaunch this spring.

"We're taking what had been strongholds and reenergizing them," said Stahl, adding that the company will continue to pursue this strategy to bolster growth. Revlon's efforts have begun to yield positive results. The company's reintroduction of Age Defying with Botafirm earlier this year fueled the franchise's sales up 28 percent.

Its tinkering within the Revlon brand may be significant, but the company's renovation of Almay and the creation of Vital Radiance will be its most ambitious projects during Stahl's tenure. Mending old retailer grievances, Revlon executives said it crafted each effort with the input of its retail partners.

Stephanie Klein Peponis, Revlon's executive vice president, chief marketing officer, said the company began looking at ways to revive Almay, which is positioned as a hypoallergenic, healthy beauty brand, several years ago. "When we looked at the brand portfolio, we saw a clear opportunity for healthy beauty at mass," said Peponis, noting that the segment is far more developed in the prestige channel with brands such as Origins. "Almay offers a terrific proposition, but it had been neglected," said Peponis.

Applying the experience of Almay's Intense I-Color, an eye makeup collection that tailors shades of mascara, shadow and liner to eye color, the company organized Almay's new display wall as a system of meticulously edited beauty products grouped according to their use.

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