VOLUMIZING BUSINESS AT REVLON

Byline: Julie Naughton

NEW YORK — Say Revlon to a hair color or color cosmetics consumer, and she knows exactly what you’re talking about.
Now, the company hopes to parlay that awareness into an increased presence in hair care and skin care. That’s exactly what executives are after with the upcoming U.S. release of Revlon Hair Treatment, a nine-stockkeeping-unit, premium-priced hair care line. The company has also been showing retailers two skin care collections expected to roll out early next year. (See related skin care story.)
While Revlon has been involved in both the retail and professional ends of the hair care business for years, Steven Perelman, Revlon’s vice president of global hair care and hair color, noted that Hair Treatment is the first step in a campaign to volumize the company’s hair care profits.
Although the company has sold off two hair care businesses this year — its Revlon Professional division in February and its Argentine brand, Plusbelle, in March — hair care is still an important category for Revlon. “Hair care business is important to us domestically and globally,” said Perelman, who noted that Hair Treatment bowed in Europe first.
Hair Treatment’s sku’s are broken down into three categories: moisture replacement, maximum volume and finishing.
The moisture replacement collection features five sku’s, including a shampoo, a conditioner and a hair mask. The maximum volume and finishing collections each include two sku’s — a shampoo and a conditioner spray for maximum volume, a foam and a spray for finishing.
The collection is line-priced at $9.99 per sku, and all products are expected to be on shelf in September.
“We’re targeting the salon hair care and treatment categories with this collection,” said Perelman, adding that the line’s target consumer is a fitness-conscious, mid- to high-income woman. Perelman said that Revlon decided to do a premium-priced line for several reasons.
“First of all, the trend in retail hair care is strongly toward premium-priced lines; prices are up and that is a trend that has continued to grow,” said Perelman. “Also, given our cosmetics positioning, we felt that our upscale image there will play well with our hair care consumers. It’s a natural segue from our cosmetics positioning to this line.” Although prices in two existing Revlon hair care brands, Flex and Outrageous, average quite a bit lower — a Flex shampoo is $1.99, while an Outrageous Daily Beautifying Conditioner is $2.89 — Perelman said he doesn’t expect price resistance. “If you give women the quality, they’ll buy it,” he said.
And Revlon will deliver that quality, he said, with a number of proprietary technologies, including an alpha hydroxy/beta hydroxy conditioning formulation said to fill in the crevices of damaged hair cuticles.
Like many of its prestige-priced competitors, the Revlon sku’s will be positioned on-shelf in a display designed to keep all products together. As the line launches, however, a promotional floor stand display will also appear in store to raise awareness of the line. While he wouldn’t disclose specific numbers, Perelman obviously hopes that the line will pump up Revlon’s hair care revenues, saying that Revlon is targeting a 2 percent share of the overall U.S. retail hair care business. According to Information Resources Inc., the retail hair care business topped $3.9 billion for the year ended June 18, excluding hair color, hair growth and perm and straightening kits.
Perelman who declined to disclose his advertising budget, said, “We plan to spend competitively.” However, industry sources estimated that Revlon would spend upwards of $8 million in late 2000 into spring of 2001 promoting the line. As much as $4 million will likely be spent by yearend, sources said.
The campaign will include an extensive sampling campaign. Perelman said that Revlon is searching for alternative ways to sample the new line, including possibly bundling samples with hair dryers and other appliances.
It will also include print ads in a number of women’s books — including InStyle and Harper’s Bazaar — in October, November and December, said Perelman.
“We’re planning to healthily grow our hair care business in the coming year. It’s an area with a significant amount of opportunity, and we look forward to making the most of it.”

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