BEAUTY CARE

Halle Berry auctions bracelet to benefit victims of domestic violence

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Actress and beauty icon Halle Berry is auctioning off a hand-carved rose gold cuff bracelet that was designed exclusively for her to wear in the ad campaign for her debut fragrance, Halle by Halle Berry. The net proceeds generated by the auction will be donated to the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program.

“The Jenesse Center is an organization that is very close to my heart,” Berry stated. “Their work makes a tremendous difference in the lives of women and children and I am proud to support such a worthy cause by auctioning off this beautiful bracelet.”

The cuff bracelet was designed by Gara Danielle and was worn by Halle on the set at the making of her fragrance campaign in Oahu, Hawaii. Made from 14K rose gold plate over sterling silver, the adjustable cuff is valued at $4,000. Bidding is taking place at charitybuzz.com.

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Tattoo Armor develops sunscreen to protect body art

BY Antoinette Alexander

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Looking to help people protect their tattoos from the sun’s rays, Tattoo Armor has developed the new Precision Sunscreen Pen.

Exposure to the sun breaks down tattoo ink and causes fading, cracking and image distortion. While traditional sunscreens protect skin from burning, they are not designed to protect ink, the company stated. Sunscreens can also be inaccurate leaving a halo of lighter skin around the tattoo.

After a year of development, Tattoo Armor’s first product, the Precision Sunscreen Pen, will begin distribution to select retailers this week.

The quick-dry sunscreen and fine-tipped applicator is designed to make application easy and precise. The patented formula offers SPF 30 protection with both UVA and UVB blockers while the active emollient enhances the appearance of the tattoo by creating a glossy appearance and conditioning the skin.

“As a person who has tattoos, I was frustrated by the lack of products available to protect my artwork. That’s why I am so excited about the launch of our first sunscreen specifically for tattoos. Our goal is to offer products that enhance and preserve tattoos and that are easy for people to use,” stated founder and developer Triskin Harden, who formed Tattoo Armor with partner Curtis Cheng.

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IRI Research releases 2009 Private Label Report

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Private-label share in the United States has risen dramatically across retail channels and product categories during the past two years, as consumers continue to struggle with high food prices and other economic pressures, according to a new report released Tuesday by Information Resources Inc. called the “2009 Private Label Report.”

The trend toward store brand is expected to continue through 2009 and beyond, representing an unprecedented opportunity for retailers and a threat for branded manufacturers, IRI stated.

“With budgets strained to the breaking point, shoppers are scrambling for ways to save money,” stated IRI consulting and innovation president Thom Blischok. “The need for affordable packaged goods solutions is high, and private-label products are going a long way toward answering that need,” he said.

“Since many private-label products are truly becoming mainstream these days, IRI refers to these products as private brands, such as Target’s Archer Farms, Safeway’s O Organics and Supervalu’s Wild Harvest to name a few,” added Blischok. “The retailer halo is now foundational, and private brands are becoming as familiar and relevant as national brands in some categories.”

The IRI Private Label Report provides a review of private-label performance and best practices across channels, categories and retailers as well as current viewpoints from more than 1,500 consumers. The study also takes an in-depth look at the opportunities that exist for retailers and how branded manufacturers can more effectively compete against private-label in a tough economy.

Some of the learnings include:

  • private-label’s strongest growth performance tends to be such categories as cream cheese/spread, paper napkins, refrigerated entrees and shortening and oil. Developing categories include pet supplies, cold/allergy/sinus tablets, refrigerated salad/coleslaw and salad dressings.
  • Grocery channel private label share is highest in the West at 25.2% and lowest in the Northeast at 19.2%. For individual U.S. markets, Wichita, Kansas had the highest share of private label unit sales at 34.3% in 2008, and New York had the lowest at 14.2%.
  • Four out of five shoppers are now “sold” on private label quality indicating that product marketing during the current recession is successfully expanding the positive reputation and reach of these products.
  • Although nearly 80% of shoppers in 2008 have positive attitudes towards private label versus 73% in 2007, dollar and unit shares are still below 25%.
  • In personal care categories, branded manufacturers have successfully differentiated themselves in the minds of shoppers, which has made it difficult for retailers to successfully penetrate these categories with private label.
  • Consumers’ perception of private label quality is consistently high across U.S. regions and channels. Some regional variations do exist, which are driven by best-in-class regional retailers.

“The evolution of the U.S. private label market has accelerated in the face of growing financial turmoil,” stated Sean Seitzinger, senior vice president, IRI consulting and innovation. “As shoppers opt out of some products and stores, they will opt into others. It is critical for the ongoing success of CPG manufacturers and retailers to not only react to, but anticipate these trends and be ready with products, assortments and store layouts that meet the shopper’s changing needs.”

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