NEW YORK — Body Tools Inc., a four-year-old men’s grooming marketer, is focusing on hair care as it expands its specialty store distribution base.

The Los Angeles-based company, which projects sales could double to $600,000 by year-end, is retooling its existing five-item hair care line, called Healthy Hair. The new range will include sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, as well as reformulated versions of the brand’s Hair Wax and Fiber Mudd. Body Tools’ so-called 3-Way Spray styling aid will remain the same.

Sulfate-free formulations are designed to be gentle on colored hair, according to Body Tools chief executive and co-founder Al Wines. “Many young men are coloring or highlighting their hair,” Wines, 61, a former retail executive, said, adding the new hair products “would protect the hair color.”

But the 14-item Body Tools line is not all about hair care. The brand also features sub-collections called Face Savers, which includes three shave cream stockkeeping units; face and body wash and scrub; licorice charcoal mask, and Face Guard, an SPF 15 moisturizer. There’s also Body Basix, which features body wash, body scrub, lotion, massage gel and salt scrub. The full assortment ranges in price from $14.50 for a 4-oz. tube of Shave Cream to $50 for the 16-oz. Repair and Protect SPF 15 aftershave.

Body Tools was test marketed at four Nordstrom locations in summer 2004. It’s now carried at 15 Nordstrom stores. Wines said he believes as many as 30 Nordstrom locations could carry Body Tools by year-end. Such expansion would help grow the brand’s distribution base to about 100 doors this year.

In addition to Nordstrom — as well as Apothia by Ron Robinson at Fred Segal — Body Tools is carried at roughly 50 spas and resorts, including La Costa, the Four Seasons in Maui and a men’s salon and spa in Santa Monica called the Service Station. It’s also carried at Labodytools.com.

Wines, who formerly worked as a buyer and merchandising executive at Hudson’s in Michigan, at Broadway Stores in California and at Macy’s West in San Francisco, co-founded Body Tools with president Dr. Steve May, a 52-year-old psychologist. The two have made health and wellness a big focus of the brand, publishing an online newsletter called Body Mechanic twice a year. Wines plans to put hard copies of the publication at the brand’s points of sale next month.

This story first appeared in the October 21, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Body Tools emphasizes skin health and many of the brand’s marketing materials address skin cancer. Multiple Body Tools products contain broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sun protection, employing such protective ingredients as Parsol 1789, benzophenone and ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate.

“One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and this year alone, more than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed,” Body Tools’ materials read. “Over 95,000 of these will be new cases of melanoma [the deadliest form of skin cancer]. Older Caucasian males have the highest mortality rates from melanoma.”

“We talk about nutrition and exercise for [promoting] good skin,” said Wines.

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