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NEW YORK — Clinique has a new prescription for the Neiman Marcus beauty business this spring.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The brand will launch Clinique Cx, a high-tech line that targets specific skin conditions, exclusively in 34 Neiman Marcus doors and on the retailer’s Web site in April.

The line grew from two desires: to leverage the brand’s dermatologic heritage and to partner with a specialty store retailer, said Susan Akkad, vice president of treatment marketing for Clinique.

Three products make up the collection, two of which will be launched in April and a third that is slated to be launched in September.

Rapid Recovery Cream — which likely “will be the star product,” said Akkad — is designed for skin recovering from facial procedures such as dermabrasion and chemical peels. Its key ingredient, she said, is the proprietary Bio-Recovery Complex, which is said to help promote skin’s natural healing, as well as calm skin inflammation and post-procedure skin peeling. It also includes a proprietary soothing tea blend — made up of white, yellow and red teas —to relieve irritation, and phytosphingosine, a collagen that is said to help relieve redness.

Redness Relief Cream, intended for ruddy complexions, is intended to address persistent redness, as well as help prevent future flare-ups. Its key ingredient, the proprietary Redness Reduction Complex, comprises glycosaminoglacans and phytosphingosine, both said to help regulate skin’s vulnerability to flare-ups. The product also includes a a beta-hydroxy complex, optical diffusers and glycine to assist in reducing redness.

The third product, Clinique Cx Soothing Moisturizer, is designed as an intensive, comforting daily moisturizer for traumatized and extremely sensitive skin.

Rapid Recovery Cream and Redness Relief Cream are each priced at $75 for 1.7 ounces; Clinique Cx Soothing Moisturizer retails for $55, also for 1.7 oz. Redness Relief Cream and Rapid Recovery Cream will launch first, followed later by Clinique Cx Soothing Moisturizer. Packaging, a combination of white and chrome, will also display the products’ benefits in easy-to-read type.

Although none of the executives would comment on projected sales or advertising spending, industry sources estimated that the Clinique Cx line would do about $2 million at retail in its first year on counter.

While national advertising is not currently planned, the brand plans to promote the line through targeted sampling, including sampling at conferences for dermatologists and other physicians this spring and more than 35,000 mailers with samples to be sent to top Neiman Marcus customers in April.

A counter wrap with new graphics promoting the line will also be introduced at Neiman Marcus beauty counters. “We wanted to create a store-within-a-store, complete with shelf talkers, new graphics and displays,” said Gene Fina, vice president of global retail design for Clinique, of the gray-and-white color scheme and large magnifying mirrors. “It was important to make the point that we are very serious about this line.”

Clinique doesn’t plan to stop with just three stockkeeping units. “We plan to extend the franchise in the future,” said Akkad, adding that future additions could deal with skin challenges such as rosacea. “We’re planning to play on our dermatologic heritage with this collection.”