REVLON JOINS ROSTER OF VITAMIN VENDORS
NEW YORK — In marketing a line of cosmetics-oriented vitamins, Revlon has joined a growing list of manufacturers hoping to convince women that they can radiate beauty from the inside out.
Revlon Consumers Products Corp. and Hall Laboratories in Portland, Ore., a private label vitamin supplier, have teamed up to introduce a line of multivitamins under the Revlon name. The products are designed to be ingested to help improve a users’ skin, hair or nails, according to retailers who have seen the product. Revlon declined to be interviewed, citing a news blackout while the company prepares to make an initial public offering.
The move makes Revlon the latest addition to a roster of smaller players who already have what the industry dubs “nutraceuticals” on the market.
“[Revlon] will only bring more attention to the business we’re already in,” said Howard Kay, executive vice president for An-Kar Products Inc.
An-Kar’s entry is called Dermanova and consists of vitamins and an external cream. Industry sources predict the vitamin segment of the beauty business could generate 1996 retail sales exceeding $200 million.
In comparison, mass market skin care sales currently total $2.6 billion.
“Consumers are more aware of the value of vitamins. It really started with the Pro-V concept with hair care,” said Naomi Germano, cosmetics buyer for Harmon Discount Stores in Cedar Grove, N.J., referring to Procter & Gamble’s Pro-V formula of Pantene. She said consumers are also more aware of the importance of vitamins thanks to the success of anti-oxidants in skin care and now the addition of vitamins to products like mascara.
Although retailers agreed there is potential in the business, they wonder how Revlon’s name will translate into vitamins, a category dominated by brands such as Centrum and Nature Made.
Vitamins were among the fastest growing categories in 1995 in mass outlets with sales exceeding $1.8 billion.
Drugstores account for 51 percent of mass market vitamin sales, followed by supermarkets, with 27 percent, and discount stores, with 22 percent.
Revlon’s line of six items — Radiant Hair, Vibrant Skin, Nail Strength, Diet Assistance, Beauty A.M. Beauty P.M. and Inner Structure — will ship next month. All items are packaged in a bottle holding 60 tablets each, except for Inner Structure, which comes in a 75-tablet bottle.
No pricing information was available at press time.
The products will be merchandised in vitamins with secondary displays in cosmetics. By doing so, sources said, Revlon will be able to get more shelf space than it might in the already cramped beauty department.
The deal between Revlon and Hall is the latest in a series of licensing agreements between Revlon and other suppliers to capitalize on the equity of the Revlon name, according to buyers. Revlon’s logo is currently emblazoned on products ranging from cosmetics accessory bags to hair care appliances. “Revlon is such a well-known name, especially with the target audience of 18-to-25-year-olds for these vitamins,” said Duane Baxter, vice president, sales and marketing, for Hall Laboratories. Baxter also sees a nice fit because, as he noted, more than half of vitamin purchasers are women.
The partnership with Hall also gives Revlon access to health and beauty aids buyers at the nation’s retail outlets, since the vitamin line is being presented to them instead of cosmetics buyers. Revlon would not give projections, but industry sources predicted it could have first-year retail sales of $10 million.
Revlon’s competitors include offerings from two direct marketing companies — Mary Kay’s Daily Benefits and Avon’s Avon Life.
On store shelves, Revlon will vie for shoppers with two established niche lines, Marlyn and An-Kar.
Marlyn, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a comprehensive line targeted at nails, hair and skin. Instead of seeking a location in vitamin departments, Marlyn is merchandised in cosmetics, according to Kelly Easton, vice president of Marlyn.
“Shoppers look for solutions to beauty problems in the cosmetics department,” added Easton. Marlyn’s line is available in a counter display or a shelf display that can be put on the peg wall.
Among the chains stocking Marlyn are Thrifty PayLess of Wilsonville, Ore., and The Cosmetic Center of Savage, Md.
“We already have Marlyn, and it is doing well,” said Germano at Harmon. “People see this as a next step to using all of the new skin creams.”
An-Kar, according to Kay, is currently stocked at Sav-On and Osco. “We think we have the advantage of already being out on the market,” said Kay, “and the only one to mix a vitamin and an external product.”
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Skin care continues to be a hotbed of activity in the mass market. Vinni Parrinello, who successfully fought off breast cancer in 1990, has a new wrinkle on the market with her line of Hope Skin Care, already being carried by American Drug’s Health ‘N’ Home store in Glendale, Ariz.
According to Parrinello, the sudden absence of estrogen caused by chemotherapy or menopause results in skin problems, which her line is designed to address. Hope Skin Care consists of cleansers, moisturizers and makeup. Prices range from $14 for a 4-oz. container of Hope Facial Cleanser to $50 for a 2-oz. jar of Triplice Fruita Crema.
Parrinello said the line is appropriate not only for cancer patients, but women who have undergone menopause and have special skin needs.