REVLON CREATES A WORLD BUSINESS
Byline: Pete Born
NEW YORK — Revlon Inc. has welded together the two halves of its global business.
As a result, Jerry Levin, president and chief executive officer of Revlon Inc., expects a continuing surge in growth for the beauty giant, whose 1995 sales have been projected by Wall Street sources to hit $1.9 billion.
“We are absolutely committed to double-digit sales growth of at least 10 percent a year for the next five years,” Levin noted.
The global fusion is the latest step in a drive, begun in April 1991, to restore Revlon’s luster and vitality at home while getting far-flung and disparate businesses around the globe running in synch.
Basically, the company has welded its U.S. and foreign consumer products operations into an international whole. The former Revlon North America and Revlon International divisions have been combined into Revlon Consumer Products Worldwide.
The new unit covers 175 countries and represents 85 percent of the beauty giant’s global volume.
George Fellows, who was chairman of Revlon North America, has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of Consumer Products. He will continue reporting to Levin, who remains head of the parent Revlon Inc. Levin previously oversaw the international business in addition to his other duties.
Under the new global framework, the old division that marketed hair products to salons has been renamed Revlon Professional Products Worldwide, with Carlos Colomer as president and chief operating officer. He was chairman of the old operation.
Fellows, who was one of a number of executives receiving promotions, said a global marketing committee has been formed, consisting of 20 key Revlon executives from around the world. It will meet quarterly.
For the last four years, Revlon has been working to achieve a worldwide consistency in packaging, programs and systems to facilitate global rollout. If the new realignment indicates progress on that front, it also reflects a dramatic improvement in Revlon’s fortunes within the U.S. last year.
Levin cited the blockbuster launches last year of Age Defying makeup, ColorStay lipstick and Fire and Ice fragrances, which triggered a market share windfall for the company.
“We hit three home runs,” Levin said.
In the $524 million lipstick category, ColorStay scored a 5.2 percent share for the entire year — 9.6 percent for the second half when it was launched, according to A.C. Nielsen. Revlon’s overall lipstick share rose from 19.6 percent to 21.6 percent for the year.
In the $786 million face cosmetics category, Revlon’s annual share jumped a full percentage point from 12.1 percent to 13.1 percent, or $103 million. Age Defying grabbed a 5.5 percent share in the second half of the year.
Overall, Revlon’s total color cosmetics business jumped from a 15.6 percent share in 1993 to 17.3 percent last year, according to Nielsen.
This share translates into a U.S. color cosmetics business of $373 million.
Revlon’s nail enamel share also jumped from 19.6 percent of the $221 million market to 21.6 percent, amounting to sales of $47.7 million.
The company also did well in fragrance, with the introduction of Fire and Ice and the repositioning of Charlie with the addition of Charlie Red.
Kathy Dwyer, executive vice president and general manager for mass cosmetics, said Fire and Ice scored just under a 3 percent share of the $700 million mass fragrance market in December and the expanded Charlie took a 4.8 percent piece.
Fellows noted that the introduction of Charlie Red increased sales of the brand by 100 percent. Noting that the 22-year-old brand has suffered “a lengthy period of erosion,” he asserted, “Charlie has turned around.”
Levin said ColorStay has been rolled out to 30 percent of the international markets, and all three new brands are expected to be fully distributed by the end of this year.
In the U.S., the success of the lip and face products has helped generate substantial increases in nail products, Levin said, because “the hot products brought consumers to the shelves and wall.”
Levin acknowledged, however, that Revlon has a weak spot in treatment, where the company tallied only a 3.7 percent share for 1994, the same as the prior year, in the $738 million category.
“We haven’t addressed treatment,” he admitted, adding that the company has been preoccupied with its core cosmetics businesses. A launch is “unlikely” this year, more probable in 1996, he said, noting the stiffness of the competition in the form of major global brands such as L’Oréal’s Plénitude and Procter & Gamble’s Oil of Olay.
“We’ll have to go with a new technology,” Levin said, “like we did with Age Defying and ColorStay. We can’t just come up with another alpha-hydroxy acid story.”
But it is a priority, Levin indicated. “We don’t want people thinking we’ve given up on treatment.”
While thinking about advancing on the treatment frontier, Levin also says the time may be right to make some acquisitions. “We think we can get into the acquisition game for external development,” Levin said, adding, “We will stay in beauty care cosmetics.”
While declining to say if he has any targets in mind, Levin said an acquisition may be made “to fill niches in the structure.” Pointing to the professional hair care segment, Levin alluded to Cosmair’s purchase of Redken, which gave the French company a strengthened position in the professional market.
Fellows identified toiletries as another possible area of acquisition.
Levin credited much of Revlon’s domestic turnaround to Fellows, who joined the company in early 1993. Not only did Fellows bring business disciplines to the operation and focus to the marketing, but he also made some wise personnel choices, Levin said. “George put together what I declare is the best management team in the industry,” he stated.
Just as Fellows has undergone an expansion of duties on a worldwide basis, so have members of the North American marketing, sales and administrative team. A mass cosmetics division has been formed by joining the Revlon and Almay brands. Among those promoted:
Kathy Dwyer, who was executive vice president of marketing for the Revlon brand in North America, has added the title of general manager as well as responsibility for Almay under the new mass cosmetics division.
Mark Lowenthal, who was executive vice president of beauty care toiletries marketing, is now regional president, international, over the U.K., Europe and the Middle East.
Rosie Albright, who was executive vice president of marketing for Almay, has also acquired a general manager title and taken over beauty care. The beauty care sales team will report to her.
Jock Flournoy, who was regional president of Latin America and the Caribbean, will add responsibilities for Canada and Asia Pacific. Reporting to Flournoy will be Joe Porcelli, president of Latin America, Canada and duty free. Porcelli was president of Canada.
Jack Hall, former executive vice president of sales for Revlon North America, has been given worldwide sales responsibilities, working with general managers in individual countries.
Frank Gehrmann, previously executive vice president and chief financial officer of Revlon North America, has been given worldwide responsibilities.
Elias Hebeka, who was executive vice president of operations for North America, has been given the same duties on a worldwide basis.
Malcolm Kemp, who was an international president for Europe, now has responsibility over South Africa and Israel. His duties also include responsibility over parent MacAndrews & Forbes businesses, such as Marvel Comics and Coleman.