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On pace with the competition

BY DSN STAFF

Mass retailers witnessed specialty stores siphon off their cosmetics customers with elevated environments and service. Now they have an eye on a burgeoning competitor for bath items called Rituals. The company has a strong pedigree with former Unilever executive Raymond Cloosterman at the helm.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

Rituals is a lifestyle brand seeking to transform mundane moments into a pleasurable experience. The core of the product assortment is bath.

Today, there are more than 400 Rituals stores worldwide, with 1,400 Rituals shop-in-shops and five Rituals City Spas in 24 countries. The United States is fertile growth for Rituals with many retail experts noting that its lifestyle brand is “just what the market needs.” There are currently four New York-area locations in buzzing, high-traffic areas with growth plans for the rest of the United States. To keep the lineup fresh, more than 200 items are introduced yearly.

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Natural, therapeutic help boost bath

BY DSN STAFF

After years of lukewarm growth, the bath category is heating up. While it may not return to the go-go years of the 1990s when retailers created specialty shops within their stores, the sales spike helps offset soft fragrance sales.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

Sales of bath products, according to IRI for the 52-week period ended Nov. 1, 2015, in mass outlets, rose 5.3% to $165 million. Scrubbers and massager sales were up almost 2%, and liquid body wash was up 5%.

Four major trends are emerging in the category: the growth of therapeutic items, rising demand for natural lines, more interest in licensed kids’ items and products fusing skin and bath.

The fact that Dr. Teal’s is the No. 1 seller in overall bath is a testament to the power of therapeutic choices. These products are especially important to drug chains where the healthcare image and presence of the pharmacist results in higher sales than other outlets, buyers said. Drug commands about 15% of bath category sales, which could be stretched further with the demand for therapeutic bath.

A drive for more natural ingredients propelled sales of The Honest Co. The brand, which is limited to a handful of mass doors produced growth of 145% for the tracked period. Village Naturals also benefitted from consumer interest in “good for you” bath ingredients as its sales jumped 23%. Ecotools saw a 53% spike in sales as consumers moved to environmentally friendly accessories, too.

Kids’ bath products got a jolt in the arm from the popularity of licensed characters, especially the rebirth of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which achieved sales gains of 91% in bath.

The bath also is doing double duty as evidenced by the rapid acceptance of Beiersdorf’s Nivea Shower Body Lotion. Used in the shower, the product also acts as a body moisturizer.

The next big sales spurt could come from a “retro” trend bringing back aromatherapy. “We are seeing demand for oils and other products like that,” said Diana Dolling-Ross, executive director at NYCO Chemists, which operates drug stores in Brooklyn and Long Island.

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Elizabeth Arden shakes up fragrance

BY DSN STAFF

MIRAMAR, Fla. — “Body sprays from Elizabeth Arden have been our biggest success story,” one retailer commented when recapping the year in fragrance. The mists offer lighter versions of Arden’s popular nameplates. Among the briskest sellers are Ed Hardy Women, Nicki Minaj Minajesty Women and Enchanted Wonderstruck Taylor Swift for women. Price tags are under $10.

(Click here to view the full Category Review.)

Arden entered the mist business last year, adding to some already solid performing spray entries, such as Body Fantasies. With the spirit of “if you can’t beat them, join them,” Arden brought out the line, which was quickly embraced by shoppers. In particular, buyers think younger customers who don’t want to pay higher tickets at specialty stores embraced the concept. Men especially like the lighter composition of the mists.

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