PHYSICIAN’S FORMULA’S RX FOR GROWTH
Byline: Cara Kagan
NEW YORK — Physician’s Formula, driven by robust sales increases of at least 10 percent, is continuing to pursue its aggressive expansion.
The Los Angeles-based manufacturer of hypoallergenic skin and sun care and makeup products has been widening distribution, stepping up new product launches and increasing its advertising.
“We have had double-digit sales growth and consistent expansion for the last few years and are planning to continue that trend,” said Jill Rosen, vice president of marketing.
To achieve that goal, the company is planning to launch no fewer than 11 new products this year, while doubling its advertising budget and increasing distribution by a third.
Although Rosen declined to break out sales or advertising figures, industry sources estimate that Physician’s Formula chalked up just under $30 million in sales last year.
The spate of new products, its beefed-up advertising budget and expanded distribution are all expected to contribute to sales increases of at least 10 percent this year. That would give the company an estimated sales volume of around $33 million.
The company is spending an estimated $5 million to $7 million on print advertising this year.
Rosen noted the focus of both its advertising and new product introductions is in the foundation and concealer categories.
The company now has 13 concealing stockkeeping units — in wand, pot and stick form. In addition to the standard flesh tones, the company also markets green tints that are designed to camouflage red skin tones; mauve, which livens up yellow or dull complexions, and yellow to conceal blue patches.
Rosen noted that the concealers, together with Le Velvet Film makeup, comprise the company’s biggest chunk of business. She added that the concealers and corrective color primers have largely been the driving force behind the company’s recent expansion.
Just three years ago, Physician’s Formula products were distributed in fewer than 7,000 doors. By the end of last year, they had expanded to a total of 12,000. Rosen said that by the end of the year the company plans to be in about 15,000 doors.
This year’s new color corrective items will be Self-Defense Moisturizing Lotion, which is shipping now, and Powder Finish Concealer Stick SPF 15, which will roll out in May.
The Self-Defense moisturizers will be available in two untinted versions that target either normal-to-oily or normal-to-dry skin. There will also be variations with green and mauve tints. All of the formulas are oil-free and have an SPF 15.
Each of the 2-oz. pump bottles will have a suggested retail price of $6.95.
The new concealers, which have a powdery finish when applied, were created for women with normal-to-oily skin and will available be in four shades — yellow, green, light and medium — each $4.50.
The new Self-Defense moisturizers will be advertised in a print campaign along with the concealer sticks that will break in March women’s magazines.
To further underline its color-corrective positioning, the company has devised an ongoing sampling strategy called the Mini Dose Consultation Center — a display unit measuring a square foot — which will be installed as part of the Physician’s Formula wall fixture, starting this month.
The center will hold minisamples of the yellow or green concealer stick packaged with a trial size of one of three shades of Le Velvet Film Makeups. The yellow concealer will also be promoted with one of three shades of Le Velvet Powder Finish Makeup. Each of the nine duos will have a suggested retail price of $1.25.
Rosen noted that the wall units would most likely reach 10,000 Physician’s Formula doors by the end of the year.
A skin care version of the new Consultation Center has started shipping to about 3,000 doors, as well. The unit will sample the company’s cleansers, moisturizers, eye makeup removers and the new Self-Defense products.
In addition to its new colorful entries, the company plans to introduce nine other new items over the course of the year. In April, three new products will bow. These are Bare Radiance Protective Lip Shine; EveryWear Minimal Makeup and Lash Extending Mascara.
Bare Radiance Protective Lip Shine is a lip product with a sheer, shiny finish that is enriched with botanicals, moisturizers and an SPF 15. Each of the four shades will have a suggested retail price of $4.95.
EveryWear Minimal Makeup SPF 15, a sheer foundation that is waterproof, sweatproof and contains a sunscreen and free radical scavengers, will be available in light and medium tint and will have a suggested retail price of $5.95.
Lash Extending Mascara, which will be sold in three colors, was designed to separate and condition lashes without irritating sensitive eyes. The suggested retail price will be $4.95 per tube.
“Nearly 80 percent of all women believe they have sensitive skin,” Rosen said. “So we feel there is a big opportunity to meet all of their needs by launching a wide range of products designed specifically for them.”