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Beauty Roundup: November 13, 2009

Can Pamela Anderson save drugstore fragrance sales?

Can Pamela Anderson save drugstore fragrance sales?


Most designer fragrances are launched in department stores first and then extended to drug chains in a second tier of distribution. Not so for Pamela Anderson and her new fragrances, Malibu Blue and Malibu Pink. She’ll unleash her scents in drugstores.


Speaking to People Magazine last week at a launch party in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Anderson called herself a “drugstore whore” who worships drugstores. Anderson went on to say she wants her fragrances to be affordable for all women and that she envisions them being able to go to a favorite drugstore to buy the scents.


Malibu Blue contains notes of wild berries and white florals, while Malibu Pink combines sandalwood, caramel and vanilla bourbon. In keeping with her animal-friendly lifestyle, Anderson plans to donate a portion of the proceeds to PETA. She also ensured the packaging was ecologically friendly. Her pledge to build the drugstore market isn’t just rhetoric. At the National Association of Chain Drug Store’s Marketplace meeting in June, Anderson sat in on meetings with retailers in Boston. She posed, chatted and worked as hard as most vice presidents of sales.


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But will a scent backed by Anderson pull in shoppers and provide a spark to mass fragrance sales? Unfortunately, many of the comments posted on People’s Web site don’t speak favorably of drugstore fragrances. Over the years, drug chains, which were once known for selling fragrance, have become associated with cheap scents. Here’s one comment: “Drugstore perfumes smell like used gym socks to me. If I am going to pay almost forty dollars for a scent, I won’t go to the drug store. I will go to the mall.”


That said, however, there were comments on the other side of the argument, and one poster said in this economic environment, there’s nothing wrong with value. Here’s that response: “Get a grip, don’t you think in the middle of a recession this is a good idea? Who cares if you like her as a celebrity/person, it’s a good idea to market your product towards the everyday working person. For all of you too high on your pedestal to look at it in a positive light, I hope you fall off someday and are left to shop at lower class places worse than a drugstore.”


Regardless of whether consumers decide to visit the local drugstore, Anderson is bringing needed attention to a channel that has lost some of its mystique when it comes to fragrances. Before the celebrity frenzy, many fragrances were created specifically for the drug channel and promoted as such. Anderson could ignite a trend to more celebrity-endorsed mass launches.


The NPD Group might be delivering some good news to mass and prestige retailers selling fragrances. NPD’s annual survey of consumer holiday spending intentions shows 19 percent of consumers plan to buy fragrance as a gift this upcoming holiday season, a two-point increase from last year.




People, Places and Things

Pamela Anderson shared her thoughts on her fragrance with People Magazine during a chic debut in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Anderson originally launched her two Malibu scents at NACDS in Boston last June.


Pamela Anderson: Both fragrances are fresh, chic and luxurious—and totally inspired by the Malibu surf lifestyle that I love. They are all-natural and embody my free spirit and passionate, “get in trouble” side. Plus, the line is so affordable.


I am a drugstore whore; I worship drugstores. You have to pull me out of them. My dream is for every woman to be able to go to her favorite drugstore and buy an affordable fragrance which will make her feel sexy. Once we completed the product—the glamorous bottle and the pink and blue packaging—and we were assured everything was ecologically perfect and cruelty-free, I was ready to go for it.


What’s In Store


There’s An App For That: Procter & Gamble Co. is rolling out Tide Stain Brain, an application for the iPhone that helps consumers get answers about stains before they set. There are plenty of opportunities in beauty, too, to provide iPhone apps for makeup hints.


Foul Odor: Americans don’t like smelling bad. A survey from Crystal Deodorant found 46 percent of those surveyed would shave an average of 10 years off their lives to banish chronic body odor for life.