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Nail-care Category Is on the Rise

Artificial nails, polish removers, the gel manicure craze are driving strong sales growth for nail products.

The nail-care category is digging itself out of the red. The timing couldn’t be better for retailers looking for avenues to boost holiday sales.

While gel-like polishes are giving the category a new gloss, two other segments are also generating notable sales — artificial nails and polish removers.

Artificial nails sales jumped 8.4 percent during the 52-week period ended Nov. 1, 2015, in all mass outlets. Innovations and new shapes to reflect demand for oval nails (made even more famous recently by Adele) are boosting volume. Most recently, Kiss unveiled an oval choice to its Impress Gel Manicure lineup.

“We are laser-focused on trends and consumer needs and saw great interest in this new shape,” said Annette Goldstein, senior vice president of global marketing for Kiss.

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The Kiss team is also shipping several other new products tailored to the latest nail trends. The lineup includes Kiss Salon Acrylic Nude Nails; Kiss Bejeweled Stones; Kiss Fix It Up Silk Wrap Repair Kit; Kiss Real Crystals to decorate nails, and Kiss Waterless Nail Tattoos.

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“We also see a resurgence in glitter nail polish and many people using homegrown items, such as index cards, in lieu of funnels,” said Kristin Giarrusso, marketing manager. “To make it easier to create glitter polish at home, we developed a kit, Kiss Salon Secrets Glitter Science, to give her everything she needs.” She also said the repair kit fills a gap in the market for people who have damaged or broken nails and need a quick repair. The popularity of gels leaves some women with damaged nails and the home solution can avoid a costly trip to a salon.

What goes on must come off, and Cutex is benefitting from the surge in harder-to-remove polish. In removers, Cutex sales soared 11.4 percent over the 52-week ending Nov. 1 versus the same time period last year.

The company has a wardrobe of polishes, and several chains are merchandising them in that manner to offer the formula suited for each need. Products incorporating new innovation account for 40 percent of Cutex’s growth, said Barbara Hershfelt, director of sales and marketing for Cutex Brands. The Cutex Regular Formula appeals to consumers who only wear polish occasionally. Cutex executives said it works two times faster than store brands. For those who change polish from the workweek to the weekend, Cutex offers the Cutex Advanced Revival remover with botanical oils to condition and strengthen nails. The popularity of glitter and gel requires a heavy-duty remover. Cutex formulated a special Cutex SPA Formula just for the hard-to-remove polishes. Also, for stubborn polish removal for those who like a jar, there is the Cutex Twister with SPA Formula. One of the most popular additions to the wardrobe of removers is the Cutex Advanced Revival Remover Pads, which are designed for travel or on the go.