BEAUTY CARE

Usher and Liz Claiborne launch new fragrances

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK R&B artist Usher has teamed up with Liz Claiborne to launch Usher for Men and Usher for Women fragrances.

The fragrances, available at department stores in September, were unveiled at a launch party in Manhattan Tuesday night. The event, attended by Drug Store News, boasted an exclusive list of more than 150 people, including special guest Martha Stewart.

The evening was enhanced by the Sensory Circus, a fragrance inspired aerial dance performance that was choreographed by Brook Notary.

The women’s fragrance opens with notes of Red Currant, Pink Freesia and Apple Blossom. The mid-section notes are Frangipani, Apricot Nectar, Blooming Jasmine and Passion Rose. The dry-down has undertones of Amber Wood, Sensual Musk, Cashmere Wool and Incense.

The men’s fragrance opens with Verbena, Pineapple and Melon. The mid-notes are Blue Lavender, White Pepper and Violet Leaf. The dry-down has Vertiver, Amber Wood, Black Suede, Sandalwood, Sensual Musk and Guaiac Wood.

Both of the fragrance bottles have caps that were inspired by a ring of Usher’s that was created his personal jeweler. The top of the cap includes a phrase that reads: “It’s not how famous UR, it’s what UR famous for.” It also features Usher’s birth date of 10/14 (Oct. 14).

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NACDS’ Industry Profile finds that front-end sales contribute significantly to overall sales

BY Antoinette Alexander

ALEXANDRIA, Va. With the release of its 2007 Chain Pharmacy Industry Profile, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores announced that front-end merchandise is contributing significantly to the overall sales of the industry.

While prescription drugs continue to be the largest category of community pharmacy industry sales, front-end merchandise contributed a substantial portion of total sales. Traditional chain drug store sales totaled $145 billion in 2006, with front-end sales totaling nearly $42 billion, or 29 percent.

OTC medications comprised 6.1 percent of front-end merchandise sales in traditional chain drug stores, as many products that were once prescription-only are now available over the counter, marking a shift from third-party payers to consumers and returning the pricing power to the retailer. This was followed by groceries/consumables at 5.2 percent, general merchandise at 4.9 percent, toiletries at 4.2 percent, non-edible consumables at 3.3 percent, packaged alcohol at 1.5 percent and vitamins/minerals at 1.2 percent.

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Acca Kappa unveils triple cold-milled soaps

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Acca Kappa, the Italian bath and body line, has introduced its collection of triple cold-milled soaps.

The all-natural soaps are formulated with vegetable-based ingredients. They join the company’s portfolio of soaps and shampoos, brushes and combs, bath foams, spa oils and bath accessories.

The new soaps are available in nine different scents: sandalwood, olive oil, avocado, rose, lavender, white moss, fig, magnolia and pear. They retail for $9 each.

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