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Alpha H Making Move Into U.S. and Japan

Alpha H is cranking up its international launch plans next year.

LONDON — Alpha H is cranking up its international launch plans.

The Australian skin care brand is planning to make its debut in the U.S. and Japan in 2010.

Retailing through a combination of salons, department stores and on television shopping channels in the U.K., Germany and Slovakia, as well as in its domestic market, the brand has big hopes for its international push.

“We’re already getting 527 visits to our Web site on average per week from the U.S.,” said Michelle Doherty, who, with her husband, Dean, and their daughters, own and run Alpha H. “We’re also doing a lot of work with hibiscus flowers, which act as a natural skin whitener. I think the Asian market will really like that.”

The 19-year-old brand, which the Dohertys purchased in 1995, comprises 40 stockkeeping units in its retail lineup. It is sold through 750 spas and salons in Australia, where it’s also retailed via television shopping channels and online. Positioned as an alternative to dermatologist lines, Alpha H puts an emphasis on exfoliation, using glycolic acid, for instance, followed by treatments meant to moisturize and nourish skin. Its best-selling product is Liquid Gold, a skin resurfacing lotion.

“We have bridged the gap for women who want to step up their skin care routine, but don’t want to have cosmetics procedures,” said Doherty. “If they do [have cosmetics procedures], we’re there as a maintenance program.”

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The brand’s lineup includes antiaging products, moisturizers, body care items, antiacne treatments and vitamin serums. Prices in the U.K. range from 7 pounds, or $11.17 at current exchange, for a 100-ml. bottle of Harmony Infusion facial spritz, to 60 pounds, or $95.72, for a 25-ml. bottle of Vitamin C serum.

Industry sources estimate Alpha H generates annual sales in the region of 12 million Australian dollars, or $10.6 million.