Byline: Pete Born

NEW YORK — Shiseido Co. Ltd. has been a giant on the move, snapping up acquisitions in the spring, launching a new round of shops and sealing a joint venture pact with the Intimate Beauty Corp. subsidiary of Intimate Brands Inc. Now the Tokyo-based company is poised to make its boldest global move in a decade in the color cosmetics category. Next February, a new color brand, called The Makeup, will be launched globally, with simultaneous introductions in Japan and Europe, as well as the U.S. It will follow last January’s similarly significant introduction, a treatment line called The Skincare.
The latest launch is significant for its strategic throw weight. Instead of simply adding the new color line to its cosmetics stable, Shiseido is using The Makeup to replace its core color brand, which is a makeup collection that was launched in 1989. That line was designed by Shiseido’s then image maker, Serge Lutens. The latest edition was conceived by makeup artist and Shiseido collaborator Tom Pecheux.
Prior to the 1989 launch, the previous effort was the introduction of Moisture Mist in 1978. Isao Isejima, chairman and chief executive officer of Shiseido Cosmetics (America) Ltd., noted that “every 10 years, we stimulate the business.”
“With our customer base growing, we have different needs,” said Heidi Manheimer, executive vice president and general manager of Shiseido Cosmetics (America) Ltd. Manheimer, who joined the company recently, added that there has been a number of technological strides made since the advent of the last collection. “One thing is the color palette and the need to address basic colors — day-to-day shades with wearable technology.”
Hank Pohl, vice president of marketing, noted that the number of foundation shades has been expanded to 14, and each hue is offered in five different product forms.
One feature is an ingredient system called Advanced Luminous Technology that is used in the foundation. One facet of this technology is Prismatic Powder. Powder A is designed to even out reddish skin, while Powder B is intended to add radiance to dark skin.
Shiseido does not break out sales projections or budgets; industry sources however, estimate that the new line could generate about $150 million at wholesale worldwide, with slightly more than $40 million of that global total generated in the U.S. Shiseido, in total, is expected to do slightly more than $90 million at wholesale in America.
In comparison, last year Shiseido reportedly did roughly $27 million domestically at wholesale on its old makeup range as part of a $80 million U.S. volume.
The new 186-stockkeeping-unit line is priced to compete in the upper range of the market, with foundations bearing a $32 price tag and the lipsticks selling for $18. Manheimer noted that the different forms of foundation were formulated to give choices, such as in degree of coverage and moisture content, to allow women to shift gears from day to night and from summer to winter.
Another feature of the line is what Shiseido is calling Color Fidelity, intended to produce very wearable shades. Basically, the silicon content has been increased to allow the color intensity to remain constant, whether viewed in-store or at home.
In the U.S., the line will be distributed in Shiseido’s network of 760 doors at a time when the company is updating its point-of-sale presentation to give its counters a more colorful, warmer and inviting look. Interactive testers will be used, along with combination makeup and massage chairs. About 30 to 40 strategic doors will get new image counters, with the rest also benefiting from the new color scheme and fixturing.
In addition, the number of skin analysis machines has been expanded to 150.
A major effort is being planned, with a war chest estimated by industry sources at $8 million to $9 million, a figure that does not include co-op advertising. However, national magazine advertising is planned, with a magazine ad photographed by Mario Testino and heavy sampling with explanatory cards that include three shades.
Shiseido also is breaking new technological ground with a simulator called the Beauty Navigator, has made its debut in the Shiseido Studio. It has digital-imaging capability to show customers how they would look after applying specific products.
The studio, which has drawn 20,000 visitors since opening last November, will be replicated with another facility opening in Santa Monica, Calif., at the end of November. The following month, Shiseido will go live with a new Web site focusing on its U.S. brands.