BEAUTY CARE

Celebrity hairstylist Billy Lowe launches luxury hair care line

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Celebrity hairstylist and beauty expert Billy Lowe, who has worked with numerous Hollywood A-Listers and appeared on such hit reality shows as TLC’s “10 Years Younger,” MTV’s “Made” and “Extreme Make-over,” has launched his own luxury hair care line.

The just-launched hair care line contains two shampoos, two conditioners and seven styling products. It is also ideal for color treated hair. The lineincludes:

  • Nourishing Volume Shampoo & Conditioner for volume, weightless style and silky smooth hair.
  • Daily Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner for hair that needs a moisture boost.
  • Silky Style Cream a styling cream for smoothing hair, fighting frizz and giving brilliant shine.
  • Thermal Style & Finish Spray, which pre-treats and protects from thermal styling.
  • Protecting Shine Spray, whch protects from UV damage.
  • Nourishing Volume Foam, which is a light weight mousse that doesn’t weight hair down.
  • Smoothing Gel, which is a great shaper for shorter hairstyles and can be cocktailed with any other product.
  • Ultimate Finish Spray, a humidity-resistant hairspray that lets you shape, style, and reshape if needed.

Key product benefits include Asian sugar, which repairs and nourishes hair from within, and soy proteins to help strengthen hair and restore lost amino acids.

“The solutions that I was presented with were anything but complicated. Many other manufacturers offered hundreds of products and the whole process was overwhelming. What I wanted for my clients was a clean and simple line that offered outstanding professional results. Now, people can have red carpet hair just like my celebrity clients ­ no matter where they live,” stated Lowe.

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Albertsons introduces organic products line to stores

BY Antoinette Alexander

BOISE, Idaho Albertsons LLC has introduced to 240 store locations a line of organic products ranging from baby food, to dairy, beverages, snacks and full meal options.

The O Organics line is being supported at Albertsons by a multi-million dollar consumer marketing campaign to drive traffic.

“Organics are rapidly moving from niche purchases to mainstream staples and we appreciate the opportunity to work with Albertsons LLC to offer the O Organics brand to its customers,” stated Alex Petrov, president of Lucerne Foods Inc. “With the strong, across-the-board interest from shoppers in health and wellness options, O Organics allows mainstream grocers to easily implement a store-wide organic strategy with the broadest possible product range and the ability to meet the order volume of the largest supermarket chains.”

Launched in 2005, O Organics offers retailers a complete, multi-category solution with more than 300 products in 30+ categories.

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Walgreens sees more staffing changes with departure of three purchasing VPs

BY Jim Frederick

DEERFIELD, Ill.

Extending a shakeup in senior and mid-level management as it continues a massive realignment and revitalization program, Walgreens revealed late Wednesday that three veterans of its purchasing department are leaving the company.

Those departing Walgreens are Bill Hubbs, divisional VP and general merchandise manager for seasonal and sundry; Arnie Silver, divisional VP and GMM consumables; and Kathy Steirly, divisional VP and GMM beauty. Their exit is not part of cost-cutting efforts underway at Walgreens, company spokeswoman Tiffani Washington told Drug Store News.

Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson praised the three merchants in an internal memo to managers announcing the changes.

“These three have all worked very hard to make Walgreens successful, and we appreciate their years of service,” Wasson noted. “I respect each one of them and wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Over the next few days, he added, the departments formerly run by Hubbs, Silver and Steirly “will transition their work to Dave Van Howe and Robert Tompkins, who will help oversee the Purchasing divisions until replacements are named.” 

In a note explaining the moves, Washington added, “Effective immediately, Dave Van Howe will continue in his current role as VP of purchasing and temporarily oversee these divisions.”

That marks at least a temporary consolidation of key purchasing activities under the 50-year-old, nine-year Walgreens veteran, who was promoted to head of purchasing in April 2007. However, said Washington, all three positions will likely be filled with new managers for those categories in the near future, she told Drug Store News.

“We’re looking both internally and externally to fill them,” at the divisional VP/GMM level, Washington added.

In line with the changes, Walgreens has also promoted Tompkins to divisional VP and GMM. The veteran buyer, who last October was promoted from divisional merchandise manager for OTC drugs to GMM of the health and wellness purchasing group, will temporarily oversee both health and wellness and OTC, the company revealed.

Walgreens also said Wednesday it has hired Rachel Bishop as division VP and GMM of strategic planning and analysis. Bishop last served as an associate principal at McKinsey & Co. in Chicago, and “has already started working closely with Chong Bang on the Customer Centric Retailing initiative,” the company announced. Bang, a divisional VP, was tapped to head that initiative as part of Walgreens’ effort to spark its front-end merchandising activities, overhaul its product presentation and build additional customer demand.

The shifts underway in Walgreens’ sprawling buying group may not be completed.

“We will be looking internally and externally for additional purchasing leadership,” said one source at Walgreens. As for the way purchasing activities are currently organized at the chain, she added, “it certainly could be some other structure.”

Said Washington, “At this point, all I can say is that we are obviously in a period where we’re transforming and taking on initiatives in a different way than we ever have in the company’s history.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding any such major corporate streamlining, Walgreens’ spokesperson characterized the ongoing transformation as a positive.

“It’s an exciting time for us,” she told Drug Store News Thursday. “And with that comes looking at whether or not we’re doing everything we can to make sure we roll out all those new efforts in the best way possible.”

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