NEW YORK — Lumene is targeting an excellent future.

This story first appeared in the May 29, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The Finnish line, which debuted six years ago in the United States in CVS, is expanding not only its product offerings — with two items under the Excellent Future banner — but also its doors.

Despite an economic climate where shoppers are doing without some beauty needs, skin care has been one area many women refuse to abandon. Sales of skin care for the 52-week period ended April 18, 2009 in food, drug and mass (including Wal-Mart) expanded almost 3 percent to $4.8 billion.

Reacting to that trend, Lumene has added an Excellent Future Deep Repairing Serum and an Excellent Future Deep Repairing Cream.

Ingredients have always been part of the Lumene story, especially the use of arctic white peat that is indigenous to Finland. Now Lumene is offering a stem cell technology that will help mass marketers keep up with similar trends in the prestige market.

The new items usher in Applexcell, a formulation exclusive to Lumene containing apple extract and arctic white peat. “It [Applexcell] protects the most important skin cells as it helps prevent and postpone damage that is hidden under the skin surface and reduces the depth of already existing wrinkles,” said Joe Pastorkovich, vice president of Lumene North America.

With the addition of Excellent Future, Pastorkovich expects to attract shoppers from class to mass. “We have outstanding consumer results from our testing and can make the claim that 100 percent of women within the test group saw a reduction in wrinkle appearance. There are a few stem cell products within the prestige market today, but they do not use a natural stem cell technology like Lumene’s and they are extremely costly,” he said. Lumene’s Excellent Future items retail for $29.99 versus prestige stem cell products that are priced over $200.

Additionally, the two items are not targeted at specific age groups and help broaden Lumene’s reach to those seeking preventative and repair. “The formulation in Excellent Future helps to repair the structure of damaged stem cells within the skin and then also goes into action to protect the stem cells from future damage,” Pastorkovich added.

Excellent Future items will bow at CVS, and in July. In CVS, the items will be merchandised within the existing skin care space devoted to Lumene, which in many stores is an illuminated and featured area. Since Lumene’s debut there in 2003, CVS has devoted significant space to the brand, especially the skin care, which has outpaced the color collections. Lumene is perhaps the most successful of a bevy of European brands that appeared in U.S. retailers over the past few years. Several have come and gone with mixed success, but Lumene has built a following in America.

Based on success in CVS, Lumene has expanded into other doors including Ulta, Target stores with professional skin care departments and Duane Reade stores with its Vitamin C+ line.

“Lumene continues to support our long-term partnership with CVS/pharmacy, which carries the largest distribution of Lumene products within the U.S, both in-store and online at Lumene has also recently expanded into a few select retailers to enhance our overall geographic and strategic availability for consumers with the U.S.,” concluded Pastorkovich.