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MASS MARKET GETS SOME PEACE & LOVE

Byline: Faye Brookman

NEW YORK — A California company is hoping mass market retailers want Peace & Love.
Founded at the end of 2001, Peace & Love offers a wealth of edgy beauty products aimed at customers aged 13 to 29. The lineup ranges from cosmetics to body fashions. Several principals of Peace & Love had formerly been associated with the now defunct Diamond Bindi Co., known for its bindis. That product line has been incorporated into the new firm. But Peace & Love has quickly gained attention for unique products, such as softening skin patches and glitter face paper.
Peace & Love made its debut at the Efficient Consumer Response Management meeting in February and was dubbed one of the most innovative exhibitors by several retailers. “There’s so much sameness in the market; they were one of the truly unique,” said Ramy Jamnik, executive vice president with Essentials, a specialty beauty chain based in New York.
There’s a plethora of products aimed at teens, but Peace & Love carves out a niche as a brand speaking to today’s new, multicultural consumer. “These customers don’t rely on their moms to buy products, they buy their own,” said Lisa Deloach, sales coordinator. Packages reflect the diversity with models of all races. As more retailers, such as Kmart, attempt to market to consumers of all colors, companies such as Peace & Love could play a bigger role in the beauty business, retailers at ECRM said. What is also helping Peace & Love is a cadre of young executives who are in touch with the teen beauty world.
Unlike many companies in the teen beauty business, Peace & Love has products spanning many categories. There are cosmetics, fingernail and toenail accessories, bath and body, hair care, accessories and seasonal products.
Although Peace & Love is first getting into doors via promotions, Deloach said the company’s goal is to secure space on peg cosmetics wall. Although Peace & Love is attempting to launch products on a par with specialty stores, pricing is purely mass. For example, shimmering glitter mascara is $2.49, Love My Face healing pads are $2.99 and a Cowgirl hat with lip gloss is priced at $8.99.

While many drugstore chains are struggling to build market share, Walgreens keeps gaining. Quarterly earnings at the chain jumped 10 percent for the second quarter, ended Feb. 28, 2002, to $326.6 million. Sales climbed to $7.49 billion, up 16 percent. Walgreens opened 210 new stores in the first half of its fiscal year. Although sales growth includes an aggressive base of new stores, Walgreens said same-store sales also were up 10 percent. The chain has slashed prices on non-pharmacy items, particularly cosmetics, which has helped build volume.
Cosmetics is one category Walgreens credits with delivering higher sales. “This quarter, we registered market share gains in 55 of our top 60 categories versus our drugstore, grocery and mass merchant competition,” said president and chief executive officer David Bernauer in a statement. “We continued to see increases in customer count.” Walgreens is on track to open about 475 new stores this year, part of a goal to operate 6,000 stores by 2010.

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