COTY’S GARDEN SPROUTS AGAIN

Byline: Faye Brookman

NEW YORK — When Coty introduced The Healing Garden in 1997, it was the first aromacology line available to the mass market. Sales quickly blossomed beyond the $70 million mark.
Now Coty is hoping sales will sprout again with another first — a mass brand home spa collection called Spa Theraphy. The line is set to hit drug, supermarket and discount shelves by August 2002.
Spa Theraphy comes at a perfect time to fertilize The Healing Garden. After helping to revolutionize the mass bath and body category, The Healing Garden sales have withered to about $50 million, according to Information Resources Inc. Although that figure does not include sales at Wal-Mart, which could represent 25 to 30 percent of the business. Anastasia C. Ayala, senior vice president, Global Fragrances for Coty Beauty, thinks the line is getting just the nurturing it needs.
“When The Healing Garden was launched, it was all about fragrance,” she said. “Now we’re going back to the garden to help evolve the brand into an aromatherapy brand with true treatment benefits,” she explained during an interview in a room at Coty, decorated with soothing images from The Healing Garden. “We’re giving women more ‘goodies’ in the formulas.” By doing so, The Healing Garden separates itself from the pack of competitors who emerged after the product was launched five years ago.
Coty would not comment on projected sales, but industry sources said Spa Theraphy could add at least $15 million in annual sales.
Spa Theraphy is the second installment of what will be a rebirth of the entire Healing Garden line. The first of the new packaging bowed with the new design of The Healing Garden body mists.
As part of the process, The Healing Garden is being repackaged and the addition of a Spa product paves the way for the brand to delve into more treatment areas.
Each stockkeeping unit within Spa Theraphy is enriched with an herbal-nutrient complex of natural botanical extracts and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E to improve the skin. The so-called “goodies” Ayala describes. But, like all Healing Garden properties, there is also fragrance to help improve a user’s mood.
True garden ingredients were the inspiration for the line. “The line is perfectly positioned to tap the power of plants. And, the ingredients are known to many women,” said Jacqueline Singer, group marketing director of global fragrances.
The five sku’s include a Skin-Soothing Bath Soak with Soy Protein and Oatmeal, a Daily Body Exfoliator with Olive Stone and Jojoba Meal, a Smoothing Body Butter with Clary Sage, Wheat Germ and Buchu Leaf, a Moisturizing-Rich Body Toning Spray with Lemongrass and a Moisture-Rich Shower Cream with Sunflower and Calendula. All items also tout a benefit such as “replenish or renew” on the package.
Products are line priced at $7.95 with the exception of the Bath Soak, which is $8.95. There are also gift sets planned, priced at $11.95 and $19.95.
Retailers were pleasantly surprised that Coty picked the garden for its inspiration. “Many people thought we’d do what others do and use marine ingredients,” Ayala added.
And, the garden theme will be carried out in all point-of-sale materials as well as a new advertising campaign. According to Ayala, Coty picked a real garden to shoot the creative. “The new advertising is less introspective [than previous Healing Garden advertising] and a little more family oriented,” said Ayala.
A huge sampling program is planned with 1.5 million samples ready for in-store distribution and store openings. Also, The Healing Garden Web site will soon feature information about Spa and tips on relaxation.
Extensive consumer research helped Coty create the Spa line. Women — whether they frequent spas or not — associate spas with a feeling of relaxation. “The spa experience is a private moment,” explained Charlotta Perlangeli, senior marketing manager global fragrances. “We wanted to bring that spa experience to the home.”
The Healing Garden Spa Theraphy is designed to be merchandised within the existing Healing Garden planogram. And although executives hope current Healing Garden users will be hooked, they also suspect it will appeal to a more treatment-oriented consumer, too. As part of the revitalization of The Healing Garden, all existing products will now be line priced at $6.75. Spa products are priced higher. “Through our research, we found people expect to pay more for spa. It is different and won’t cannibalize,” said Singer. “We’re looking for incremental growth.”
A special fixture was instrumental in the original launch of The Healing Garden. The wooden fixture helped create an ambience that lured shoppers to the display. However, the growth of the line has dictated that many retailers abandon the fixture. Still, Ayala hopes to work with retailers to create a better selling environment. “We are testing concepts to create the atmosphere of an Aveda, or Bath and Body Works. It is a challenge,” she admitted. It was the right time for The Healing Garden to get a new look, Ayala concluded. “The Healing Garden has to evolve to stay number one.”

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