NEW YORK — Parfums Christian Dior is taking a new approach to U.S. distribution for its fall launches.

The beauty brand will simultaneously launch two fragrances, Miss Dior Cherie (see sidebar) and Dior Addict 2, and a host of color and skin care products, all of which will be segmented between the company’s department store and specialty store doors.

“We’re finding that we have two major groups of consumers,” said Lisa Hawkins, vice president of marketing. “There are our established customers, who are more likely to be shopping in a specialty store such as Neiman Marcus, and who have little price resistance. Then we have a young, fashion-forward group of women, who are more likely to be shopping in Sephora or Macy’s, and though they may want the pricy product, they may not be able to afford it. This strategy opens the Dior brand to a much wider audience.” It’s also part of the brand’s goal to triple its U.S. business, she added.

Miss Dior Cherie is seen as the couture fragrance launch for fall, noted Kristin Stevenson, director of marketing for Dior fragrances in the U.S. It will launch first at Saks Fifth Avenue in July before entering Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom doors in August. In total, it will be in about 175 specialty stores in the U.S.

Dior Addict 2, on the other hand, is more of a fashion fragrance, said Hawkins, although a final determination hasn’t yet been made as to whether it will stay permanently or be supplanted each year by a new Addict fashion fragrance. Intended to appeal to a younger consumer than the first Addict, Addict 2 has top notes of bergamot, grapefruit and orange; a heart of freesia, lily of the valley, watery lotus, pineapple, watermelon and grenadine, and a dry-down of sandalwood and cedarwood. Its juice is by Robertet. Dior Addict 2 will launch in Sephora in July and in department stores in August; in total, it will be in about 750 doors in the U.S.

In keeping with the desire to appeal to more youthful consumers, Dior Addict 2 will be priced lower than its couture sister. Dior will do a 20-ml. eau de toilette spray exclusively for Sephora; it will retail for $37. In department stores and Sephora doors, eaux de toilette in 50-ml. and 100-ml. sizes will be available, for $48 and $68, respectively. The bottle is a pink-toned, silver-capped interpretation of the original Addict bottle, which is midnight blue with a gold cap. Industry sources estimated that it could do $10 million at retail in its first year on counter.

This story first appeared in the May 20, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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The brand is also applying its two-tiered distribution strategy to a large assortment of color cosmetics and skin care introductions.

Both tiers will get fashion-forward color initiatives, promised Hawkins. Sephora will get two exclusive versions of the ubersuccessful Trotter palettes, one for lips and one for eyes. Each will retail for $42.50 and launch in August. Department stores and Sephora will get the $30 Holiday Lip Tower, a see-through, five-color palette which Hawkins noted is intended to be an entry-level price, stocking-stuffer item. It’s available in October, as is the Backstage Makeup Set for department stores, with mascara, eyeliner, concealer, an eye makeup brush and a makeup roll, for $56. Dior is also doing exclusive color sets and items for several retailers.

Specialty stores will get six new one-shot shades of Rouge Velvet, a satin long-wear formula; each shade retails for $25. A lipstick case that is being produced as a promotion is a miniature replica of the house’s popular Detective handbag — an intentional nod that marries fashion and makeup, noted Hawkins.

The new star product for specialty stores and Sephora is DiorPlay Dice, a silver rhinestone-studded cube filled with Ultra Gloss lip gloss in one of two shades. Each retails for $50 and will be on counter in October.

Both will also get Dior Glam, a silver palette linked to a retractable blush brush through a silver chain and silver star-shaped charm. Both versions will retail for $55; a highlighter version for Sephora will be on counter in July and a version for specialty stores will be on counter in August. Both will also get a new intense liquid eyeliner, $29. Specialty stores will get a new lip palette called Lucky Kiss, $50, in October; Sephora will get an eye version called Lucky Colors, $50, in October.

The brand is also undertaking a repackaging of its skin care line, which is expected to be completed by yearend. The new bottles will be sleek plastic with silver accents; the new look bows next month with a new cleansing range.

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