Shiseido is hoping to harness the power of biology — not to mention its strong skin care business — for its new Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream, due in September.

This story first appeared in the July 29, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Heidi Manheimer, chief executive officer of Shiseido Cosmetics America, noted that skin care currently accounts for 65 percent of Shiseido’s total overall business, with the Bio-Performance line — first launched in 1988 and currently comprising nine stockkeeping units — about 21 percent of Shiseido’s total skin care business. “As well, our antiaging category is up 25 percent, and we believe this will be a business segment which will only continue to grow,” said Manheimer, adding that the total Shiseido business is up 7 percent year to date, with that growth driven primarily by skin care launches. Shiseido’s Benefiance reformulation has grown 13 percent year to date, and its Future Solution LX is up 34 percent year to date, she noted.

Antiaging as an overall industry category is also continuing to show positive gains, Manheimer said, noting that year to date, antiaging skin care as a category has jumped 15 percent, with antiaging moisturizers accounting for 43 percent of the antiaging category.

According to Gisela Ballard, executive director of marketing for Shiseido Cosmetics America, Shiseido’s skin care research showed that elastic fibers in the dermis, which provide support for skin’s facets, weaken with age, and their ability to prop up the skin’s facets is reduced — which then leads to deterioration in skin texture and early signs of aging. Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream is designed with a new microscopic technology, intended to use the power of bio-technology to restore the skin’s youthful appearance by reinforcing the skin’s elastic fibers, leading to a smoother complexion and improved skin texture.

Key technology includes the proprietary Bio-Revitalizing Complex, which includes the brand’s Super Bio-Yeast Extract as well as raspberry extract and hydroxyproline, a cocktail said to include skin’s elasticity and texture, and the proprietary Super Bio-Hyaluronic Acid, a humectant intended to intensely hydrate the skin.

Two sizes will be offered: 50 ml. for $75 and 75 ml. for $95. The target consumer is a woman in her early 30s.

In the U.S., the product will be carried in 1,087 department and specialty store doors, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Sephora, Lord & Taylor and Dillard’s, as well as their respective Web sites.

While Shiseido executives declined comment on projected sales, industry sources estimated that the cream could do at least $13 million at retail in the U.S. in its first year on counter.

Advertising is slated to break in October fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, and the product will be supported with a digital media campaign and heavy sampling campaign as well. Sources estimated the war chest at $1 million.

In May, Shiseido outfitted a luxury Airstream trailer and sent it on the road from May 19 through June 18, hitting 10 cities over a two-month period and covering more than 10,000 miles. The purpose: to raise awareness for the Bio-Performance franchise as a whole. More than 100,000 samples of Bio Performance Super Corrective Serum, a March 2010 launch and currently the Bio-Performance franchise’s top seller — were distributed along the way, noted Manheimer.

“We performed 2,500 services and estimate that we picked up at least 1,000 new customers,” she said, adding that retailers in the tour markets have seen double-digit growth in the category.

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