NEW YORK — Moore Unique, a three-year-old dermatological skin care brand with roots in the shave segment, has landed a coup. The doctor-founded brand has just signed a distribution deal with Wal-Mart, bringing its four shave items into 1,000 Wal-Mart doors in 22 states, up from several hundred Wal-Mart stores in three states two months ago. Global plans for the shave products are in the works, too.

What might be piquing the interest of retailers — Moore Unique is also sold in Walgreens — is the brand’s dermal positioning and mass price point. Data shows that the mass skin care market is ahead 1 percent in sales to $1.6 billion for the 52-week period ended May 16, with subcategories acne and face anti-age spurring sales by 4.2 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.

Moore Unique was created by Dr. Milton Moore, a dermatologist, to address a host of personal care problems, initially shave burn. His line started off with Razor Rash Relief ($12.99), a Toner Cream ($15.99), a waterless liquid shave solution gel called Hydroglide ($7.99) and Clear Skin Acne Wash ($9.99). But Moore’s medical background armed him with the knowledge to expand the line to 15 items — which have yet to gain distribution — with the company’s focus moving from shave to skin care. Now there are products available to treat six skin care regimens, each requiring several different Moore Unique products.

For example, Scalp Unique, which will retail for $17 in kit form, targets consumers with dandruff, folliculitis, acne keloidalis and hair loss, and includes Dry Scalp Therapy and Scalp and Bump Relief. The items can also be sold individually for $9.99 each. Other regimens target sensitive skin, acne, exfoliating and skin discoloration.

Moore said he was attracted to working with Wal-Mart — aside from the obvious sales potential — because his company’s goal is to globally market Moore Unique “and make it available to the masses…who may not have access or the means” to visit a pricey dermatologist’s office. He cited the products’ therapeutic ingredients, such as salicylic acid, antibiotic sulphur and aloe, as well as elegant packaging, as the differentiators between Moore Unique and other mass market lines. Moore is currently meeting with retailers to get the balance of the line’s products in stores.With the Wal-Mart deal, Moore Unique is expected to generate between $3 million and $4 million in sales by the end of 2004.

In addition to Wal-Mart, Moore Unique products are available at 81 Army and Air Force bases and 1,200 Walgreens doors. Talks are under way to expand Moore Unique in Walgreens in August. The line is also sold on the company’s Web site, www.mooreunique.com.

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