Byline: Jenny B. Fine

NEW YORK — Phyto-Lierac, the French manufacturer of plant-based hair care products, achieved a 13.6 percent increase in its global sales in 1996 — a year in which it floated an initial public offering on the Paris Bourse.
The company ended the year with a wholesale volume of $76.2 million (441.7 francs), up from $67 million in 1995. France accounted for $46.6 million, while export sales contributed $29.6 million.
The U.S. accounted for 23.6 percent of the firm’s export volume, or about $7 million — a number executives would like to see increase.
To that end, Phytotherathrie, Phyto-Lierac’s retail hair care line that posted a wholesale volume of about $2.3 million in the U.S. last year, is being rolled out to more stores this year in the hopes of generating a 40 percent increase in sales.
The line will be introduced in 15 Neiman Marcus doors this year — beginning in April with three Dallas doors, followed by Houston, Atlanta, Bal Harbour, Fla., Chicago, San Francisco and Las Vegas in May and June, and culminating in Beverly Hills, Newport, Calif., Paramus, N.J., Scottsdale, Ariz., Troy, Mich., and Boston next fall.
Currently Phytotherathrie is available in 13 Barneys doors, 47 Nordstrom doors and 10 Bloomingdale’s, as well as 161 perfumeries and pharmacies here. Products range in price from $13 for a 2.5-oz. moisturizing gel to $40 for a thinning-hair treatment.
To further drive sales, Phyto-Lierac is planning a number of product launches this year, including the September introduction of a men’s grooming and toiletries line under the Phytotherathrie umbrella.
Called Phytomen, the 5 stockkeeping-unit range consists of shaving gel, hair and body shampoo, aftershave balm, hair lotion and a body splash.
Distribution for Phytologie, Phyto-Lierac’s hair care line sold only in salons, is also being expanded. That brand, which has a distribution of 563 salons, accounts for over $4.6 million of the company’s U.S. sales.
Over the next 18 months, it will be introduced into 35 Premier International Salons, most of which are located in Saks Fifth Avenue stores.

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