BEAUTY CARE

Nivea kicks off 2010 with a kiss

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Nivea, a Beiersdorf AG brand, rang in the New Year with its second annual Times Square New Year’s sponsorship with celebrity hosts Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo.

“As a brand, Nivea values the importance of human connections, which is why there is no better place to be than Times Square on New Year’s, where the whole world comes together to celebrate the start of 2010, a year of ‘Love, Hugs and Kisses,'” stated Nicolas Maurer, VP marketing for Beiersdorf. “As the brand that stands for touchable, smooth skin and kissable lips, this year, once again, we encourage everyone to make their New Year’s kiss or hug one to remember.”

As part of the sponsorship, Nivea painted Times Square blue and white with New Year’s Eve accessories and Nivea Lip Care products.

In addition, Lachey and Minnillo will continue to share the love by launching the Nivea XOXO Chain, a viral and global chain that will allow people around the world to connect and share love, hugs and kisses. Nivea created an initiative to raise money and awareness for Nivea’s charitable cause, Big Brothers Big Sisters. The program began Dec. 23 and will run through the Valentine?s Day holiday.

To join the Nivea XOXO Chain visit www.NIVEAusa.com/xoxochain.

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Drugstore.com buys SkinStore.com

BY Rob Eder

BELLEVUE, Wash. Drugstore.com announced Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire Salu, which includes, most notably, SkinStore.com, an online retailer of clinical skin care and beauty products, in a deal valued at some $36 million.

The deal enables Drugstore.com to reach three distinct beauty segments through the various sites it operates, including mass beauty products on Drugstore.com, prestige beauty brands on Beauty.com and clinical skin care products on SkinStore.com. Together, the companies will have a broader array of products to offer across their online stores and will gain efficiencies in many operational areas, the company stated.

“Beauty is a cornerstone of our growth strategy, and we are delighted to expand our footprint with the addition of SkinStore.com to our online portfolio,” said Dawn Lepore, chairman and CEO, Drugstore.com. “This acquisition will further solidify our position as a first choice for beauty consumers and brings us one step closer toward achieving our goal of becoming the leading online retailer of beauty and spa products.”

Under the agreement, Salu will continue to focus on its brands and exceptional customer experience and will operate in Sacramento, California. Additionally, Salu also has a distribution business in Australia and also operates Spalook.com, the online store for Sandow Media, which owns NewBeauty Magazine.

“This partnership is a tremendous opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths and together become a clear leader in online beauty,” added Jim Steeb, CEO, Salu. “We will continue to build the SkinStore brand and our partnership with Spalook and to serve our customers well. We believe drugstore.com along with Beauty.com, is the best partner to help us do this over the long term.”

Drugstore.com will use a combination of half-cash/half-stock to fund the purchase.

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Report: P&G looking to expand The Art of Shaving

BY Rob Eder

CHICAGO It appears that Procter & Gamble soon may expand its chain of high-end men’s grooming stores, The Art of Shaving, which it purchased earlier this year to provide another platform for the company’s Gillette brand, according to a Reuters report.

“They’re very cautiously optimistic, not only about the business model that they have right now, but they are extremely excited about the growth potential,” Charles Wetzel, Buxton’s president and COO, told Reuters. Buxton is working with P&G on the Art of Shaving expansion.

Already changes in the existing stores have begun with an eye toward creating a “more customer-friendly and more inviting” shopping experience, Wetzel said. According to Reuters, the changes include more privacy in the barber areas; a richer, darker color palette; and upgraded displays for razors, lotions and oils.

Wetzel believed The Art of Shaving could reach up to 140 stores, with 20 to 40 opening each year. Wetzel also expected P&G will bring the brand to Canada, perhaps as soon as next year.

For the complete story click here: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BN20C20091224

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