Britney, Arden Hit $300 Million Mark
NEW YORK — Say what you will about pop princess Britney Spears, but you can’t accuse her of not moving product.
Spears and her fragrance licensee, Elizabeth Arden, held a get-together for retailers and beauty editors at the Hudson Hotel here on Monday afternoon, celebrating more than $300 million in global retail sales — and more than 10 million units sold — since Spears’ first fragrance, Curious Britney Spears, was launched in September 2004.
Fantasy Britney Spears followed last September (the same month that Spears gave birth to her first child, Sean Preston Federline).
The latest scent to join the family, In Control Curious, a flanker to the first scent, entered stores in mid-April. “We’ve just rolled it out, and right now the Curious franchise is number one in our doors,” said Pam Netti, field sales director for Macy’s East, adding that In Control is accounting for somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of the franchise’s business at present. Spears’ Fantasy scent is in the top five in her doors, noted Netti. According to Arden executives, the launch of a flanker for Fantasy is being planned for October or November.
Clad in a black flutter-sleeved dress and cork and black patent Christian Louboutin sandals, Spears noted that, while she loves all of the scents, In Control is her favorite. When asked if she’s looking at launching a clothing line to complement her successful fragrance license, Spears demurred. “Maybe one day, but the fragrances are keeping me busy for now,” she said. “Maybe in a few years.” That doesn’t stop her from ogling other apparel, however: “I love Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Prada — all kinds of things,” she said with a smile.
Scott Beattie, chairman and chief executive officer of Elizabeth Arden, noted that Spears has “struck a chord with young women everywhere,” adding that the Spears franchise has been successful not only in the U.S., but in several international markets, including Australia, Canada and the U.K.
While Spears’ original deal was struck not only for fragrance but also for other beauty categories, such as skin care and color cosmetics, Beattie’s content to stick to fragrances for right now. “We’ve come up with a lot of ancillaries which explore different areas, but the fragrances are showing such strength that we’re concentrating there for now,” he said. As well, a new national print advertising campaign, shot by Ellen von Unwerth, features a seductive shot of Spears promoting In Control. It is breaking in fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines now.
Beattie will have a busy fall, not only with Spears’ scents, but with fellow teen queen Hilary Duff’s scent, expected in September. Novelist Danielle Steel’s first fragrance will join the Arden family in October, and next spring, the recently signed Mariah Carey will roll out her first scent.
“We’re keeping pretty busy,” he said.
— Julie Naughton
Revlon Run Fights Cancer
NEW YORK — Amid a billowing cloud of red and white confetti, approximately 40,000 runners and walkers embarked on the ninth annual Revlon Run/Walk here Saturday morning. The 5-kilometer event, which raises funds for women’s cancer research and support programs, began after Christopher Meloni, of “Law & Order: SVU,” sounded the starting horn.
Susan Sarandon, event host and Revlon spokeswoman since 2004, addressed an ebullient crowd of participants and onlookers from a stage in Times Square. “This affects a lot of people and therefore a lot of families,” Sarandon said of the disease. “What’s great about this event is not only the money, it’s also an opportunity to get a glimpse of the survivors and to honor those that we have lost.”
The event was presented by the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
Julianne Moore and Kate Bosworth, both Revlon spokeswomen, are scheduled to host the Run/Walk’s sister event in Los Angeles on Saturday. The bicoastal event has raised more than $37 million to support women’s cancer research, counseling and outreach programs since its inception in Los Angeles in 1993. Last year, the events raised $5.6 million, a figure organizers expect to eclipse this year.
The New York University School of Medicine, Gilda’s Club New York City and the Harlem Hospital Cancer Control Center are among this year’s New York-area beneficiaries.
— Crystal Martin
Douglas Ups Sales Guidance
BERLIN — Given continued strong performance in April, the Douglas Group raised its full-year sales projections for fiscal 2005-06 to a gain of 8 to 10 percent.
Douglas originally had estimated an increase of 6 to 8 percent. Expected results from ordinary business activities remains unchanged at 125 million to 127 million euros, or about $157.5 million to $160.1 million.
The Group’s leading Douglas Perfumery chain continued to grow in the second quarter of fiscal 2005-06 as sales in the 904 Douglas doors rose 14.7 percent to 319 million euros, or $384 million. Dollar figures for results are at the average exchange price. On a like-for-like basis, second-quarter sales, which this year did not include Easter, rose 2.9 percent.
In Germany, sales in the 423 Douglas doors grew a nominal 2 percent to 165.8 million euros, or $199.4 million. At the 481 doors outside Germany, however, quarterly sales surged 32.6 percent to 153.2 million euros, or $184.2 million.
Earnings performance for the quarter was not available. However, for the first six months of fiscal 2005-06, Douglas Perfumeries’ earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 11.9 percent to 108.5 million euros, or $107.3 million. Sales in the first half grew 13 percent to roughly 846.3 million euros, or $1.02 billion. On a same-space basis, sales for the period increased 2.1 percent.
Douglas plans to open more than 60 new perfumeries in Europe in fiscal 2005-06; 39 are already up and running. At the end of May, the first Douglas perfumery will bow in Turkey, the chain’s 18th market.
— Melissa Drier
Cavalli Unveils Scent at Saks
NEW YORK — Roberto Cavalli is betting that the snake will bring him luck with the launch of his newest fragrance for women, Serpentine.
The designer made a public appearance Friday at Saks Fifth Avenue here to mark the official launch of the scent in the U.S.
“The snake is not my favorite animal, it is my favorite design,” he said, discussing the scent’s intertwined snake graphic during an interview before the event, which generated about $5,000 in sales volume for the day, according to industry sources. He may not want to get cuddly with the creature, but as a personal good luck symbol, that’s another matter. “I love the snake also because it was my first print, my first design. I use the snake as kind of my luck, it’s my legend.”
The fragrance launch comes amid swirling rumors that the designer may be considering minority investments or seeking a public offering for his firm in the next few years. And then there is the Florence court that found him guilty of tax evasion and sentenced him in March to 14 months in prison. A technicality in Italian law, though, will likely exempt him from actually serving jail time.
Cavalli does not seem to be stressed by any of this as he talks about Serpentine.He noted a Brazilian legend that said the snake was attracted to the nectar of the mango flower and, upon tasting it, would enter a state of euphoria.
The fragrance is a mix of mango flowers, mandarin, tiare flower, black pepper, frangipani, amber and sandalwood.
Citing that he can be very difficult when it comes to selecting his fragrances, Cavalli said it usually takes him a long time to come up with the perfect one.
“It’s very important, the perfume for a woman. Because sometimes the perfume can display a little bit of the personality about a woman,” he said. “It’s an invisible dress.”
The scent comes in a 3.4-oz. bottle priced at $82.50 and a 1.7-oz. bottle priced at $65. A bath and shower gel priced at $35 and a body lotion priced at $40 round out the line.
— Andrea Arterbery