BEAUTY CARE

U.S. gymnasts picked as newest CoverGirls

BY Antoinette Alexander

HUNT VALLEY, Md. Gymnastic stars Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone have been selected by Procter & Gamble to be the newest CoverGirls—marking the first time that female athletes have been name as the face of the beauty brand.

The athletes, who are from the USA Gymnastics team, join a roster of famous spokesmodels such as Drew Barrymore, Rihanna and Queen Latifa.

In addition to their new roles, Molly Stern, CoverGirl’s celebrity makeup artist, created customized looks for Johnson, Liukin and Sacramone during the world’s premiere competitions.

“Shawn, Nastia and Alicia are wonderful additions to the CoverGirl family, representing CoverGirl ideals of both inner and outer beauty,” stated Esi Eggleston Bracey, vice president and general manager of CoverGirl Cosmetics in North America. “We want to honor their confidence and help them shine in the spotlight. We are thrilled they are lending their beautiful faces to CoverGirl.”

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Report predicts health and beauty as U.K.’s fastest growing retail sector

BY Antoinette Alexander

LONDON A greater number of male shoppers, price inflation and women’s quest for eternal youth will outweigh economic pressures in 2008, driving health and beauty products in the United Kingdom to be the fastest growing retail sector, according to recent research.

In its recent report, dubbed U.K. Health & Beauty Retailers 2008, Verdict Research, a subsidiary of Datamonitor, predicts that health and beauty will take the crown in 2008 as the U.K.’s fastest growing retail sector.

In 2007, consumer expenditure on health and beauty products rose by 4.7 percent to GBP15.6 billion ($30.8 billion), outperforming total UK retail as it has done in every year since 2003. That growth looks to be even stronger in 2008. It forecasts that health & beauty, at 5.7 percent growth, will be the fastest growing retail sector in 2008.

“In uncertain times people are still willing to spend money on making themselves look good and feel good,” stated Carol Ratcliffe, retail analyst at Verdict Research and author of the report. “If you’re holding back from buying expensive items, there is more scope for smaller indulgences. Health and beauty products are ideal for this: it doesn’t cost much to treat yourself and even premium brands are relatively accessible.”

Total sales of men’s toiletries are expected to grow by 7.7 percent in 2008 as wider availability and a better selection of brands and products encourage more men to try new products.

Price inflation is another important factor. Verdict expects these higher costs to be partly passed on to consumers in the majority of beauty categories, with inflation peaking in 2008 across the market as a whole.

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The Face Shop treatments available only at Walgreens

BY Antoinette Alexander

DEERFIELD, Ill. Korean beauty brand and retailer The Face Shop is expanding its U.S. presence by inking an exclusive deal with Walgreens to sell a selection of facial mask treatments beginning in late August.

The 10 facial masks are natural, cotton masks soaked in concentrated serums to deliver an intense, yet gentle facial in 15 to 20 minutes.

To support to the U.S. launch of the masks, The Face Shop will be giving away more than a million samples in shopping malls, beaches, parks, festivals, universities and Walgreens stores across the country. The masks will retail for $2.99 each or two for $5.

According to the beauty company, facial mask sheets are very popular in Korea and the rest of Asia, where consumers have a strong loyalty to the concept. The Face Shop sells more than a million mask sheets every month in Korea alone.

The Face Shop has 900 stores across Asia, annual sales of $500 million and serves customers in 19 different countries. In the United States, The Face Shop operates four stores in Queens, N.Y.; Palisades Park, N.J.; Chicago, and Santa Clara, Calif. It entered the U.S. market in late 2005 with the opening of a store in Manhattan but has since closed that location.

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