Fragrance Sales Down: Don’t Blame Mass Retail Executives

Statistics show one reason scent sales are down is because Americans are not spritzing daily and when they do, some choose lighter body sprays. That was far from the case, however, during an informal survey of attendees at the recent meeting of The National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

 

Almost every manufacturer or retailer interviewed said they wear a fragrance daily. Some switch around, but most said they have a favorite. A few men did admit, however, they wear whatever their wife puts out that day. Also, some do buy fragrances not traditionally sold via mass doors. Here’s what was hot at the meeting.

 

Jim Wuest, vice president marketing for Kenney Drugs, said he wears a Calvin Klein fragrance and even rushed to his room and jotted it down: Calvin Klein Euphoria for Men.

 

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The Walgreens team all smelled pretty darn good at the opening cocktail party. Among the scents they donned were Gucci by Gucci on Joe Magnacca, president daily living products and solutions for the chain. Mike Arnault, vice president customer-centric retailing at Walgreens, gave a nod to a big mass hit — Beckham. Shannon Petree, divisional vice president and general merchandise manager beauty and personal care for Walgreens, said she has many favorites but was wearing Gucci Flora that night.

 

Joel Carden, executive vice president for Pacific World Corp., said he shakes it up between two favorites: Tom Ford and Prada. At Parfums de Coeur, both executive James Stammer and Peter Columbia stay true to the firm’s top scents for value proposition by wearing Bod Most Wanted.

 

The Elizabeth Arden team knows a thing or two about fragrances. Kathy Widmer, executive vice president marketing for Elizabeth Arden, picked one of her favorites for the day: Badgley Mischka.

 

Other popular mentions during the poll included Curve, Egoiste, Stetson and Chanel No. 5. There wasn’t a man not wearing a scent and many women admitting to mixing a few favorite ones. Few mentioned using body sprays as scents.

 

With the industry so enthused about fragrances, the excitement should develop at store level, too. Manufacturers have big plans to use social media to entice shoppers with fragrances and new displays are being created to promote open sell. The expansion of reality stars into fragrance could potentially benefit the mass market business. With many new efforts to sell fragrance in the mass market under way, fragrance sales should be the next recovery category, experts concluded.

People, Places and Things

A few words with Ingrid Jackel, chairman and chief executive officer of Physicians Formula, about the new skin care launch exclusive to Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is looking for more exclusives while Physicians Formula gets back to its skin care heritage. The range, called Physicians Formula Skin care, will debut in Wal-Mart in 2,500 stores this August.

WWDBeautyNews:
Why a skin care line?
Jackel: This is a return to the 74-year-old brand’s heritage. We were a doctor’s brand from inception. It was created for the original doctor’s wife for her sensitive skin. Wal-Mart noticed a need for more dermatologist brands.

WWDBeautyNews:
What makes this different than what is on the market?
Jackel: There is a simplicity that grew out of my store visits. I found myself completely confused. There are too many products, too many claims and too many ingredients. The aim is to make it easier to select a product. The regimen is color-coded.

What’s In Store

OPI Links With Miss USA Pageant: OPI is one of the brands sponsoring the Miss USA Pageant along with other beauty names, including Rain Cosmetics and Australian Gold sun care. This year, the Miss USA Pageant celebrates its 60th anniversary and will air live on NBC on June 19 from the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas at the Theatre for Performing Arts.

Axe Hair Rolls Out New Cream, Makes Donation: Coinciding with the rollout of its new Axe Hair AXE Buzzed Look Cream + SPF 15, the Unilever brand is making $50,000 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit organization that honors and empowers wounded warriors.

 

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