STORES RECALL HIGHLIGHTS OF STRONG YULE BUSINESS
Byline: Soren Larson
NEW YORK — One message came through clearly at the Fragrance Foundation’s annual review of Christmas business on Tuesday: December sales were solid in every retail class from specialty stores to deep discount drugstores.
“This industry is truly alive and well,” said Steve Bock, senior vice president and general merchandise manager at Saks Fifth Avenue and one of four retailers who spoke at the Waldorf Astoria.
Bock said the fragrance category at the 45-door Saks chain showed gains of almost 20 percent in December.
He added, “We look forward to 1995 with even greater ambition.”
“The rollercoaster ride of ’94 culminated in a very successful season,” said Jane Scott, vice president of cosmetics and fragrances at Bloomingdale’s.
She said the 15-store Bloomingdale’s chain enjoyed an increase of 24 percent in November and December as compared to the 1993 season, with gains reaching 27 percent the fourth week of December.
The top newcomer was Calvin Klein’s CK One, which Scott called “a phenomenon. It was the item of Christmas ’94.”
Ann Gravseth, merchandise manager for cosmetics and accessories at J.C. Penney Co., Dallas, said her fragrance business was up 7.5 percent.
The lone representative from the mass market was June Taylor, senior director of cosmetics and fragrances at Phar-Mor, a 143-unit deep discount drugstore chain based in Youngstown, Ohio.
Taylor said the overall beauty category racked up over $80 million last year at Phar-Mor, with fragrances up 5 percent during the holiday period.
Industry members seemed to sense it would be an evening of good news, packing the hotel’s grand ballroom. As usual, the main attraction of the evening was the opportunity to hear retailers recite their bestseller lists.
According to Scott, the top women’s fragrances in December at Bloomingdale’s were, in alphabetical order: Beautiful by Estée Lauder, Boucheron, CK One, Chanel No. 5, Donna Karan New York, L’Eau d’Issey by Issey Miyake, Safari by Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Trésor from Lancôme and Lauder’s White Linen.
The bestsellers in the men’s arena were Armani, Aramis, Boucheron Pour Homme, Cool Water by Davidoff, DK Men from Donna Karan, Klein’s Escape, Eternity and Obsession for Men, Lauren’s Polo, Polo Sport and Safari for Men and Tuscany from Aramis.
At Saks, the top women’s fragrances in December, in order, were Jean Paul Gaultier, the Annick Goutal scents, CK One, Angel from Thierry Mugler, L’Eau d’Issey, Chanel No. 5, Donna Karan New York, Must de Cartier II, Flore by Carolina Herrera and Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps.
The top men’s offerings, in order, were Safari for Men, Pasha de Cartier, Boucheron Pour Homme, Aramis, Penhaligon’s, Santos de Cartier, Escada Pour Homme, Eternity for Men, Polo and Escape for Men.
At Penney’s, the top women’s fragrances in December, in no order, were Chanel No. 5, Guerlain’s Shalimar, White Shoulders, Halston, Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion, Chloe, Ciara, Chloe Narcisse, Ultima II’s Head Over Heels and L’Air du Temps.
The best-selling men’s scents were Quorum, Passion for Men, Royal Copenhagen, Baryshnikov, Halston Z-14, Stetson, Grey Flannel, Pierre Cardin, Guess Men and Lagerfeld Photo.
The top women’s scents in December at Phar-Mor, in alphabetical order, were Revlon’s Charlie, Emeraude, Revlon’s Fire & Ice, Jovan Musk, Lady Stetson, Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflowers, Vanderbilt, Coty’s Vanilla Fields, Wild Musk and Wind Song.
The best-selling men’s fragrances, in alphabetical order, were Aspen for Men, British Sterling, Brut by Fabergé, Drakkar Noir, English Leather, Jovan Musk, Pierre Cardin, Preferred Stock, Royal Copenhagen and Stetson.