NEW YORK — In an era when newness is a basic requirement for doing business in department stores, Adipar Ltd. has not gone unequipped.

The company, consisting of Escada Beaute Ltd. USA and its Adipar USA twin, which functions as an American distributor for other brands, is headed into the new year with a wagon load of launches.

In addition to new Escada scents, Adipar also is handling fragrance projects from Burberry, Floris, Lalique, Jaguar and Bobby Jones. There is also a new women’s scent percolating at Parfums Gres, which Escada recently sold to Silvio W. Denz but continues to act as its distributor.

While asserting that Adipar’s sales trend remains solid in a weak fragrance market, Donald Loftus, president of Adipar USA and Escada Beaute Ltd. USA, noted: “We have something every single month.” While there is a multitude of projects, they are aimed at specialty niches to lessen the congestion.

Burberry, which launched Touch for men and women in 2000, will introduce a fragrance line for infants in March. “They had a baby,” quipped Loftus. Appropriately, it is called Burberry Baby Touch. The Burberry baby line, which was produced by Inter Parfums Inc., will be launched exclusively throughout the Saks Fifth Avenue chain and in the 19 Burberry shops. Distribution will be held to 100 specialty stores.

The line consists of an alcohol-based fragrance — a 3.8-oz. bottle priced at $38 — and a nonalcoholic version, which will retail for $32. There also are three ancillary items, all priced at $24 each. They are massage oil, a baby balm and an all-over baby wash. The scent includes notes like vanilla, verbena, mandarin, orange zest, wild spearmint and rhubarb jelly. The fragrance will be marketed as a gift for newborns.

The launch will be backed with heavy sampling, 100,000 mini-sprays per door, according to Nicholas Munafo, vice president of marketing.

In addition, an advertising campaign will be put behind Touch. Magazine and co-op advertising, sampling and ample demonstration could cost $3 million to $4 million, according to estimates by industry sources.

These sources figure the baby line could do $800,000 to $1 million its first year, considering its narrow positioning and limited distribution. The entire Burberry franchise — including the pair of Touch scents, two London scents and the baby version — is expected to generate $8 million to $10 million in wholesale volume next year.

Recently, Adipar began distributing Floris London and the venerable English company plans to launch a special fragrance in honor of Queen Elizabeth’s 50th jubilee prior to Mother’s Day. It will be priced at $100 and the fragrance will be distributed exclusively at Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Floris also will launch its first shared scent, called Cefiro, or sea breeze in Spanish, next March. It also will be launched in Neiman’s and Bergdorf’s. The line includes a 50-ml. eau de toilette, priced at $40, and a 100-ml. eau de parfum for $85.

Adipar also has begun distributing the Bobby Jones men’s fragrance, named after the legendary American golfer. Developed by industry consultant Steven Venables, the fragrance is already merchandised in select Nordstrom doors plus top golf resorts and in the catalogs of Neiman’s and Saks. This spring, Adipar plans to expand distribution into Dillard Department Stores. The door count is expected to fall short of 450 doors.

As in years past, Escada has come up with another limited-edition fashion fragrance, called Sexy Graffiti. The new scent will be distributed in 550 doors, a deeper penetration than last year’s edition, Tropical Punch. The new scent is expected to exceed $7 million. Sexy Graffiti was prelaunched this week in Saks and Nordstrom. Neiman’s will be added in February and the balance of doors will follow in March and April. Loftus said he is intent upon being sold out of Sexy Graffiti by the end of spring because there will be two more Escada launches in the fall — Sentiment for Men and a new issue of the Escada Collections women’s fragrances.

Recently, Escada sold its Parfums Gres brand to Denz, a highly successful former Swiss retailer, manufacturer and entrepreneur, who owns Parfums de Paris. In addition to Gres, he owns Alain Delon Parfums and the Jaguar men’s fragrance brand. He is preparing to launch a new upmarket Jaguar fragrance worldwide with flashy chrome packaging designed by Thierry de Baschmakoff. It will be positioned around the world on a par with Lalique, slightly above Cartier.

Denz has been at work trying to mop up the gray-market distribution of the venerable Gres brand. He wants to launch a new women’s fragrance in the fall to restore some of the brand’s luster. Denz also noted that he is interested in acquiring a couple more brands, bringing the possible total to six with an ex-factory volume of $60 million to $80 million.

Adipar also distributes Lalique, a pristine brand that has been very busy. Lalique’s creator, directeur general Dominique Daviaud, updated the packaging, enhanced the formula and cut the price of the signature women’s fragrance. He also trimmed the number of stockkeeping units from 17 to eight and relaunched the line into about 230 U.S. specialty stores for spring. The company also issued its limited-edition crystal collectible perfume, this year priced at $900 each. A total of 5,000 pieces were produced for the world, with 1,200 of them allocated for the U.S.


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