Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — The nation’s largest drugstore chain is getting into the private-label bath game in a big way.
CVS is currently rolling out Essence of Beauty, a 75-stockkeeping-unit bath and body line. The collection will be on shelves in more than 4,100 CVS stores this week and will appear on the retailer’s Web site,, by the end of April.
The collection includes a broad array of bath and body products and accessories, broken down into 11 categories. They include four billed as aromatherapy lines — Energy, Stress, Sensual and Relax — each with a bath gel, body lotion, body spray, bath salts, bath fizz and a candle.
Six additional collections ranging in scent from kiwi to peppermint, include such items as bath salts, foot lotions, soaps and body gels. And a 12-sku accessories collection is also available; it includes loofahs, body brushes and sponges. The items range in price from $1.99 to $10.
The retailer also plans seasonal product offerings for Essence of Beauty, said Todd Andrews, a spokesperson for CVS.
“Bath and body is a fast-growing sector of the beauty category, and we have found that it is more and more popular with our consumers,” said Andrews. “Our consumers have indicated that they want more of these products from us, and in response, we have formulated Essence of Beauty.”
In a statement, Tom Ryan, chairman and ceo of CVS, added: “The launch of Essence of Beauty represents another step in CVS’s strategy to maintain its leading position in the beauty and personal care category, an area that is crucial to the business. The brand offers an array of high-quality products backed by our famous money-back guarantee.”
The brand will be promoted in CVS’s weekly circular, which reaches 37 million households, and will be supported with prominent in-store signage. The first ad in CVS’s circular breaks on Sunday. Essence of Beauty will also be heavily promoted on, with banners and buttons. No other consumer advertising is currently planned.
Unlike many others developing the private label category — who often test the waters with smaller collections — CVS chose to release a very broad group of collections. “It’s a rich category,” explained Andrews. “That’s why we’ve gone so broad — it offers a lot of different ways to serve our customer.”
Essence of Beauty is designed to appeal to a very wide demographic. “We expect it to speak to everyone from 20-year-olds to women in their 50s,” said Andrews. “There’s so much to choose from that we think there’s something for everyone.”
Andrews wouldn’t comment on sales projections for the brand. “We have high hopes for it,” he said.