RENAISSANCE REDUX

Byline: Laura Klepacki

NEW YORK — Renaissance has new owners, a new name and a new lease on life.
Its parent, Fragrance Express, has taken the name New Dana Perfume Corporation, encompassing the former Dana Perfumes division of Renaissance as well as its Cosmar, Pro10, Fetish and Nat Robbins brands.
Fragrance Express, a fragrance, gift catalog and telemarketing firm, will become a division under the New Dana umbrella. The new headquarters will be located in Boca Raton, Fla.
Since acquiring the struggling cosmetics and fragrance company in June, company executives have been meeting with retailers and outlining plans to relaunch several Renaissance brands and create merchandising tie-in programs to give stagnant products a new life.
But Fragrance Express, along with Pennsylvania investment firm Dimeling, Schreiber & Park, snapped up Renaissance for $25 million soon after that company filed for bankruptcy protection in June.
Robert Bartlett, chief executive at the New Dana company, reported that many Renaissance properties are now getting a second chance. “We have had a wonderful response from retailers. They have just been overwhelming with taking us back in. If they haven’t saved our space, they are looking to create it.”
Bartlett is projecting the company’s sales will exceed $100 million by the end of 2000. He also said he is looking to expand Dana internationally, and expects international sales could eventually account for 30 percent of its business.
Leading the company along with Bartlett are Isaac Cohen, president, and Marc Albert, president of international. Bartlett said they were able to retain about 75 to 90 percent of middle management from Renaissance.
Bartlett said company executives had arranged to meet with Sears buyers soon to present a new Fetish fixture designed specifically for their stores. The teen brand has always had a strong presence at Sears.
Other initiatives include the repackaging of Nat Robbins color collection on cards for Peg-Board merchandising. Bartlett said the existing display units for the line were in disrepair. “It is a brand that has done well, so people want it back,” he commented.
But his first priority is to get the Cosmar nail treatment and Pro10 nail lacquer businesses in order. Another mission is shipping holiday fragrance programs to retailers. Dana’s stable of scents includes such classics as Chantilly, Navy, Tabu and Love’s Baby Soft.
Bartlett also aims to build youth business in toy departments by offering packages that couple Tinkerbell — a Dana brand — with Love’s Baby Soft. Another possibility is tying in Fetish items with electronic games or other toys.
Dana is also likely to cross-promote some men’s fragrances with leather goods. Another effort could link its Canoe, Navy for Men, Navigator and California for Men scents in a nautical-themed promotion.
“We are working to revitalize these particular brands and the tradition and limelight they were used to,” said Bartlett.