BEAUTY CARE

Bare Escentuals sales up in Q4

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO Bare Escentuals, a maker of mineral makeup, experienced an increase in fourth quarter sales but does expect first quarter net sales to decline vs. the prior year due to the economy and a tightening of trade inventories that hurt first quarter shipments.

“As a result of the lower sell-in, we expect to see a meaningful decline in overall first quarter net sales vs. the prior year. However, our corresponding domestic retail sell-through for the quarter is trending positive to last year,” stated Myles McCormick, COO, CFO, Bare Escentuals. “We do expect that once our retail partners adjust to their more conservative inventory positions, shipments will again approximate the pace of retail sales. As such, we do not view first quarter net sales trends to be indicative of full year expectations”.

Due to this shift in purchasing behavior, the company expects first quarter net sales to decline in the teens on a percentage basis versus the prior year. Earnings per share during the first quarter are expected to be between 12 cents and 15 cents per diluted share.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 28, sales totaled $147.1 million, up 2% from $144.6 million in the year-ago period. Net income for the fourth quarter was $24.6 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, a decrease of 9% compared with $27 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

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L’Oreal Paris to shutter U.S. retail stores

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Less than five years since opening its first retail store in Los Angeles, which was soon followed up with a second East Coast location, L’Oreal Paris has decided to shutter both locations on Feb. 28.

“Our two U.S. retail stores located at Beverly Center in Los Angeles and at Westfarms Mall in Farmington, Conn., created a unique retail experience that allowed us to experiment with innovative merchandising concepts and new forms of communication to the consumer. We are now exploring new, alternative venues to reach consumers,” L’Oreal Paris wrote in a statement sent to Drug Store News. 

In a letter e-mailed to L’Oreal customers, the company wrote: “All of our customers are an inspiration to us and we thank you for your patronage and the time you have spent with us here at the store. We appreciate your loyalty to the brand and look forward to you continuing to enjoy our products. Please note that L’Oreal Paris products can be found at all food, mass and drug retail outlets.”

Looking to better understand its shoppers and their buying habits and, in turn, improve merchandising at drug and mass, L’Oreal opened in the first half of 2005 its second U.S. retail store in Westfarms Mall. The first such location opened in the Beverly Center Mall in 2004.

The bright, spacious 2,000-sq.-ft. store at Westfarms Mall, which was visited by Drug Store News shortly after its opening, offered shoppers the luxury of browsing the entire L’Oreal collection in one location, where trained beauty advisers were on hand to assist them. Aside from helping shoppers find the right product, the advisers offered makeovers, and, through an in-store computer, could use cyber-imaging technology to see how a specific hair color would look on a consumer.

The products were priced at the high end of what a local retailer would sell them for so as not to undercut any drug or mass retailers. The manufacturer stressed that it opened the stores not to become a retailer, but to learn more about its shoppers. As a reflection of that mission, the company commonly referred to the stores as “Living Labs.”

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Skyn Iceland to roll out Icelandic Relief Eye Pen in May

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Skyn Iceland, whose products are sold at such retailers as Sephora and C.O. Bigelow in New York City, has turned its Icelandic Relief Eye Cream into a convenient, on-the-go treatment with the new Icelandic Relief Eye Pen.

Via a soft-tip pen applicator, the Icelandic Relief Eye Pen delivers immediate relief to the delicate under-eye area and diminishes the symptoms of chronic stress around the eyes.

“I can see this product finding a home everywhere from office drawers for touch-ups before meetings or after work drinks to carry-on luggage, to combat flight-induced puffiness and evening bags to keep eyes refreshed through an evening event,” stated Sarah Kugelman, skyn Iceland president.

As with all skyn Iceland products, the inclusion of the proprietary Biospheric Complex comprised of stress-relieving, soothing ingredients gathered from Iceland’s air, land and water, visibly reduces shadows, puffiness and overall dryness while soothing, strengthening and stabilizing stressed skin, the company stated.

The new skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Pen will be available in May exclusively at Sephora for $20.

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