NEW YORK — Wet ‘n’ Wild is amplifying its roar in the value cosmetics arena with new products, expanded doors and upgraded marketing efforts.

This story first appeared in the December 6, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

These moves come on the heels of Markwins Beauty Products Inc.’s efforts to focus on the cosmetics brand. As part of that initiative, Markwins has sold off minority-positioned brands, such as Tropez and Soho.

The new products, shipping for early 2011, will build upon momentum amassed by new packaging and a fresh planogram finalized this year, according to Anita Jennison, marketing director for Wet ‘n’ Wild. With a goal of helping retailers boost productivity, Wet ‘n’ Wild self-edited its assortment and created an easier-to-shop layout. The moves come at a time when retailers said there is more interest than ever in lower-priced color cosmetics as consumers do more with less.

Now the firm is unleashing what it hopes could be some of its biggest debuts. The splashiest are MegaLash Clinical Serum and MegaLash Clinical Mascara. “We aren’t the first with a serum,” acknowledged Jennison, “but we are bringing innovation to consumers at a value.” The serum will retail for $6.99; the mascara for $4.99. They will be launched in a combination package to encourage trial. Thanks to big growth in mascaras and a merchandising system housing all mascaras together and identified by type, Wet ‘n’ Wild made huge gains in grabbing market share in mascaras, said buyers, who estimated mascara growth of more than 50 percent for Wet ‘n’ Wild over the last year. For 2011, Wet ‘n’ Wild is adding a MegaLength Waterproof Mascara priced at $2.99.

Jennison said eye makeup products were a big growth opportunity for the company last year, especially as shoppers looked to trade down in price points.

Wet ‘n’ Wild will augment last year’s Color Icon shadows with more vibrant hues. In trios, the new shades have 30 percent more pigment and pearl effects for a bolder payoff. The trios offer three complementary shades and a “How To” map on the package. Joining the Color Icon franchise is a brow and eyeliner, a shimmer pencil and a retractable eyeliner. In lips, Wet ‘n’ Wild will add sheer gels and a lip liner.

Another huge initiative for early next year will be in nail color, with a major push behind a fast-dry color priced at $1.99. The nail colors are in a unique, well-researched bottle and should put Wet ‘n’ Wild in contention with other nail-color brands, such as Sinful and Sally Hansen, buyers said. Midyear, the company is also at work with new items, including a pressed powder with SPF priced at $3.99.

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