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Beauty Roundup: April 15, 2011

Raymond Matts can put his finger on why women aren’t using as much fragrance these days.

Using Research to Revive The Fragrance Market

Raymond Matts is a fragrance creator known from some of the best-selling scents ever, such as Clinique Happy and Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds. He can put his finger on why women aren’t using as much fragrance these days. They don’t find new options that are compelling and make women want to “enjoy” fragrances. Many marketers just rush to the latest name performer or the hot ingredient instead of really making memories out of the perfumes.

New research from Firmenich and The NPD Group apply numbers to his theory. The NPD Group explored data from more than 18,000 U.S. men and women ages 18 to 64 years old, and, with Firmenich, honed in on segments of “non-heavy” and “lapsed” fragrance users. The idea was to find out why some shoppers were not buying as much or leaving the category completely.

The data showed that 33 percent of the fragrance consumers surveyed wear fragrance four or more times a week, connoting “heavy users,” which are the typical fine fragrance market focus.

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This means the bulk of fragrance users, almost 45 percent, are wearing fragrance less than three days a week. In addition, the study also found 13 percent of fragrance users have actually lapsed in their use, making them currently lost to the category. From there, the study dug down into what is making people not use scents.

For some, fragrance has become a function to cover other scents rather than as an emotional boost. In the social category, the study found most consumers still identify “sexual allure” with fragrance, as opposed to positioned in a more everyday context. That is driving only occasional use instead of daily. And in the final category, relevancy of fragrance, the study found the deeper impact of the fragrance has to work to reconnect and resonate with the consumer to make an emotional connection in order to create a relevance and meaning for consumers in regard to fragrance products.

With this data as a background, retailers hope the industry gets to work. For the past few years, buyers have been blaming themselves — thinking they were not doing a good job of presenting fragrance. Now, the consensus is, they need a better product to present to shake up sales.

In the meantime, however, chains are working on presentation. CVS Pharmacy is featuring a shipper that houses all the leading scents that goes into aisles. The bright red display is easy to spot and encourages shoppers to try a new scent. Walgreens has a unique glass case it created with advice from Duane Reade. According to Shannon Petree, divisional vice president and general merchandise manager for beauty and personal care at Walgreens, the chain has big news coming in the next few months in its fragrance presentation.

Fragrance remains the one beauty category not enjoying a slight kick in usage as shoppers come back to buying. The industry hopes a bevy of new choices are in the labs that will tempt shoppers in the year to come. A great deal of growth, retailers said, will come from young users who are heavy users who haven’t fallen out of the usage pattern yet.

People, Places and Things

A few words with Shannon Petree, divisional vice president and general merchandise manager for Walgreens as she tours the chain’s urban chic Astor Place Store


WWDBeautyNews: What do you think shoppers notice first about the look here?

Shannon Petree: That it is open and airy. We have nice windows where we have our beauty étagères, but we’ve also opened up the looks since New York stores can be so packed. We also have a service skin care section that we feel is important.


WWDBeautyNews: What beauty products do you use?

S.P.: I use everything. I use drugstore brands, but I do dabble in prestige to see what I might need to find options for my customers. I wear L’Oréal, Maybelline mascara and I color my own hair. I think it is great women can find affordable options so that can take care of themselves. I think it is about total health and beauty, too. You need to wash your face and floss and I think dental ties in with beauty, too.

What’s in Store


Walgreens’ Kim Feil Inducted Into In-Store Marketing Institute Hall of Fame: Kim Feil was inducted for her efforts in elevating Walgreens’ marketing efforts. She joined Walgreens in 2008 and has initiated numerous new programs.


Sears Gets More Competitive With Chain Drug: Sears’ announcement it was rolling more of its beauty formats out shows the chain sees potential in mass brands in shopping malls. With more drug chains moving out of major regional malls, Sears can offers brands such as L’Oréal and Cover Girl to shoppers who want lower price points than prestige. For Sears, beauty is a high-margin extra category that fits well with apparel.