GOUTAL LOOKING TO EXPAND BEYOND FRAGRANCE

Byline: Jenny B. Fine

NEW YORK — Annick Goutal will try to give its U.S. market share a boost with launches and line extensions this year.
First up is a line of home accessories items called Pour La Maison, developed specifically for the American market, which will roll out to the company’s full distribution of 135 doors in early April.
Annick Goutal plans to launch a new women’s fragrance in September, introduce a men’s version of its popular Eau d’Hadrien scent and expand the range of fragrances for its lotions and other lines, according to the firm’s U.S. president, Marjorie Wollan.
Wollan would not reveal the name of the new women’s scent, but did say the men’s fragrance will be called Hadrien Absolu.
Finally, the firm has introduced a print advertising campaign, which will appear in Town and Country, Vogue, Elle Decor and Southern Accents. Last year, Goutal did not advertise its brands. Rather than create a separate campaign for each fragrance, a strategy Goutal previously used, the firm will use one image for all the scents.
“What we’re doing with this line [Pour La Maison] is looking to expand the Annick Goutal name into areas of collectible items,” Wollan said. “We want to reinforce the uniqueness of our brands and maintain the preeminent position we have in many of the stores we trade in.”
Wollan added that when she joined the company in early 1995, she considered adding color cosmetics or skin care to the company’s offerings, ideas that Annick Goutal rejected.
“Annick didn’t really feel comfortable pursuing that area,” said Wollan. “Her primary art is as a perfumer.”
Retailers seem to agree that Pour La Maison fits well with the company’s positioning. “It [the collection] really ties into the whole Annick Goutal look. It’s a good point of difference and enables us to create a unique environment at the counter,” said Debra Walters, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics and fragrance at Saks Fifth Avenue, who added that the Goutal brand continues to rank in the store’s top five fragrance sellers.
Although company executives declined to comment, industry sources say Goutal projects Pour La Maison will account for about 15 percent of its U.S. business in 1996, or between $1.8 million and $2.1 million at retail.
According to industry sources, the U.S. accounts for about 75 percent of Annick Goutal’s global retail volume, or $12 million to $14 million.
Pour La Maison was developed in a relatively short time, after Wollan decided in December to produce a collection in time for Mother’s Day.
The objects, which were created by a jewelry designer the company declined to identify, have a brushed gold patina and feature accents of ivory enamel. Ivy leaves — one of Annick Goutal’s signature motifs — decorate many of the pieces.
The line consists of a purse mirror for $55; two picture frames, one for $80, and the other, $90; a perfume tray for $185; a soap dish for $105; a cotton ball jar for $110; a tumbler for $75, and a trinket box for $105. In addition, the company has packaged three soaps, which normally retail for $16 each, into a gift set for $45, and has expanded the range of its scented candles with two additional scents.
Wollan said the firm is developing a collection of men’s bathroom and grooming accessories, such as shaving cups and razors, scheduled to bow for Christmas.
Annick Goutal’s retail outlets are Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Barneys New York, Henri Bendel, Takashimaya, Stanley Korshak and Halls Kansas City in the U.S., and Ogilvy and Holt Renfrew in Canada.

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