NEW YORK — What better place for sugar than a candy store? That’s exactly what Mary Boncutter of Sugar Cosmetics was thinking last week when she struck a deal with Dylan’s Candy Bar, an early step in a plan to grow the beauty brand this year.
This story first appeared in the January 30, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
While at least seven existing Sugar items — including lip glosses, a powder puff and a bath kit — are scheduled to hit the Manhattan candy emporium next month, the Dylan’s deal is just the tip of the iceberg. To wit: Boncutter, who is president of Sugar Cosmetics’ parent R&S Trading Co., expects the brand’s distribution at Sephora to double to 75 doors by yearend. With additional department and specialty store doors also slated for this year, Boncutter’s goal is clear: “We’re looking to double the business.”
Last year, total sales of Sugar Cosmetics approached $2 million at retail, a number Boncutter would like to see increase to $4 million by yearend.
Looking at other avenues to widen the reach of Sugar Cosmetics, Boncutter has turned to R&S Trading Co.’s other business — footwear. Prior to the holidays, some specialty stores that carry Sugar footwear began stocking Sugar Cosmetics prepacks containing the brand’s six best-selling items. Plans now call for seasonal versions of the prepack to be shipped four times a year. “That has really increased our cosmetics business,” said Boncutter.
Four years ago, Boncutter had modest plans to launch “a little flavored lip gloss line.” Since 2000, though, Sugar Cosmetics has expanded from 18 or so lip items to a more “complete brand” of 75 items that includes eye and face products today.
Continued expansion of the product line will include the March rollout of at least three introductions: a set of four colored mini mascaras, for $19 — the brand’s first mascaras; a set of 12 mini lip glosses, for $28, and an all-in-one mascara, gloss and eye glitter kit, for $24.
Currently, the brand’s full distribution in the U.S. includes about 150 doors, including 38 Nordstrom locations. Expansion of Sugar Cosmetics overseas could be in the cards as early as next year. But for now “the strategy is to continue to grow in the U.S. and hit our financial goals,” said Boncutter, “before expanding internationally.”