JANE’S BID FOR LONGEVITY

Byline: Cara Kagan

NEW YORK — While it is still much younger than its teenage target audience, the Jane brand is out to live to a ripe old age.
To make sure it is around for the long haul, the 18-month-old Jane will embark on an expansion plan next year: The firm will more than double its distribution and will increase its space in existing doors, along with updating its advertising campaign and launching five new products to continue its sales momentum.
“Our goal is to build the business steadily over time,” said Don Pettit, president of Sassaby Cosmetics. Sassaby markets the Jane collection of color cosmetics, which is aimed at teenage girls. “That means not forgetting existing business and achieving same-store growth, while adding new distribution at the same time.”
While Pettit declined to disclose sales or advertising figures, he projected that the new strategies would increase Jane’s sales by 30 to 35 percent for the line’s second year, ending in July 1996.
According to industry sources, in its first year, concluded last July, Jane generated a wholesale volume of close to $18 million. An increase of 30 to 35 percent would give the company an estimated second-year wholesale volume of $23 million to $24 million.
Pettit noted that throughout next year, the company plans to build Jane’s distribution to in excess of 7,000 doors from its current reach of 3,500. Sassaby plans to achieve this by breaking into chain drugstores, now that it is distributed in nearly 70 percent of all mass merchandisers, Pettit said.
He said new drugstore accounts will include Longs Drugstores of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Eckerd Corp. of Clearwater, Fla.
In about 40 percent of Jane’s existing distribution, Jane’s linear shelf space will be expanded from its current three feet to four feet during the spring, Pettit said.
Jane is also seeking to increase consumer awareness with a new corporate ad campaign that will break in February issues of YM, Seventeen and Teen. Product-specific ads will begin in March publications.
According to industry sources, the company will spend between $2 million and $3 million on print advertising next year.
“Our first ads were a little younger in feel,” Pettit said. “We weren’t sure at first who exactly our core consumer would be, but we have found that she is 14 to 16.”
This year the company will insert 10 to 15 million booklets into magazines — roughly double last year’s effort — as part of its spring and back-to-school promotional program. Last year, Jane used this tactic for the back-to-school period only.
Jane also is producing nine new brochures for its in-store displays that contain makeup application and shade selection tips, and product information.
New products are also a part of Jane’s second-year plan. In February, six new items will be added to Jane’s permanent collection, increasing the total number of items from 144 to 184.
With the exception of two products — Clueless Concealer and True to You Foundation — the new cosmetics were tested in prior seasonal promotions that were presented in countertop displays.
The new items include: six One-For-Alls ColorSticks, which were created to shade the eyes, lips or cheeks; eight Barely Lips sheer lipsticks; eight One Liners automatic lip pencils, and six different Lip Dips pot lipsticks.
As with all Jane items, each new product will have a suggested retail price of $2.99.
Clueless Concealer, which will be positioned as a product that conceals both under-eye circles and blemishes, will be featured in the company’s spring promotion that focuses on multipurpose products. The Multiple Madness collection also will include the One-For-Alls and two new items: six different Quik Stix EyeShapers and eight Quik Stix Two-Way Lipcolors.
“We intend to continue using promotions as our testing ground for new product concepts,” Pettit said. “The promotions not only generate excitement and send people over to our wall, but give us the perfect opportunity to see whether or not a new product will be a hit.”

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