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Beauty Beat: Malle Opens Russia Shop… NPD: Beauty Sales Up 4%

In a city that has transformed from drab workers' paradise into luxury brand heaven in just 16 years, Frederic Malle wants a slice of the action.

MOSCOW — In a city that has transformed from drab workers’ paradise into luxury brand heaven in just 16 years, Frédéric Malle wants a slice of the action.

The creator of the fragrance publishing house concept has just opened a shop-in-shop in Moscow’s Tsarist-era department store Tsum, or Central Universal Store.

The new Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle shop is the forerunner of a number planned for Moscow, St. Petersburg and, perhaps, elsewhere in Russia over the next two to three years, and lays the groundwork for a possible expansion into other East European countries. Poland is touted as one option.

Malle has nine shop-in-shops in North America, three freestanding stores in Paris and other locations in Europe and Asia.

“We think Russia could become one of our biggest markets,” he said Monday in his new location.

Malle, whose grandfather Serge Heftler was the founder of Parfums Christian Dior, has become known for a distinctive approach to fragrance retail. First he gives respected perfumers, such as Pierre Bourdon and Dominique Ropion, free rein to design their dream scents. Then he often fits his stores with exotic devices for testing fragrance; in Moscow, scent is sprayed into columns in which customers can place their heads.”

At 320 square feet, the Moscow shop is larger than Malle’s U.S. outlets, which average 215 square feet. All of his fragrances will be available here, and like at his other stores, the scents are displayed in refrigerators to keep them fresh.

But there’s one major difference in Malle’s Russian business: He isn’t opening doors himself but is instead selling his fragrances through a distributor. “It’s not home. There are people I don’t know here and one must be humble,” he explained.

Although Malle would not discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate the new shop-in-shop location will generate $1 million in retail sales during its first year.

Overall, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle’s revenues are expected to reach $10.3 million in 2007, versus $6.3 million in 2006, according to industry sources.

Malle revealed he plans to roll out a line of home fragrances in 2008.
— Alastair Gee

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NPD: Beauty Sales Up 4%

NEW YORK — Sales of prestige beauty products in the first nine months of the year increased 4 percent to $5.9 billion from the same period a year ago, according to The NPD Group.

Makeup was the fastest-growing category with a 5 percent increase to $2.5 billion, followed by skin care, which grew by 4 percent to $1.8 billion, and fragrance, which grew 2 percent to $1.6 billion.

Makeup accounted for 42 percent of beauty sales in the prestige market, while skin care generated 30 percent of sales and fragrance garnered 27 percent of sales. The remaining 1 percent was made up of combinations of product categories.

“As we head into holiday, the positive momentum in the third quarter compared to last year indicates that we could have a decent fourth quarter for the prestige beauty industry,” Karen Grant, senior beauty industry analyst at NPD Group, said in a statement.

Face makeup was the most popular makeup category for the first nine months of the year with a 47 percent share of the makeup market on sales that rose by 5 percent. Eye makeup sales grew by 6 percent and took a 30 percent share of the market. Lip makeup sales, which were unchanged from last year, accounted for 19 percent of the makeup category. Sales of makeup gift sets, which accounted for only 2 percent of the category, jumped 37 percent compared with last year. The remaining 2 percent represents nail color and other categories.

“While fragrance is still the darling of the holiday season for the beauty industry,” added Grant, “makeup is often an unrecognized force in the month of December.”