Archive for October, 2009

Beauty-Industry Sales Start To Look A Little Better

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Sales of beauty products are starting to show a glimmer of improvement after a sharp dip during the recession, suggesting consumers may slowly be getting more willing to reach out for these small discretionary purchases.

In recent weeks, several beauty companies have had better-than-expected sales. Estee Lauder Cos. (EL) said in mid-October that sales were better than expected in its fiscal first quarter. Parlux Fragrances Inc. (PARL), which holds the licenses for such brands as Paris Hilton fragrances, announced an 8% rise in second-quarter sales. And Inter Parfums Inc. (IPAR), which distributes perfumes and cosmetics under license from such brands as Burberry and Jimmy Choo, recently announced third-quarter sales above estimates.

“These are data points that would support the view that beauty is getting better,” said Linda Bolton Weiser, an analyst at Caris & Co.

To be sure, there has not been a dramatic rebound in beauty sales so far. And consumers are likely to stay frugal even as global economies rebound, prompting beauty companies to warn that any recovery will be slow. But even small improvements could help the sector.

The beauty industry is “still down, but there has been some improvement in the cosmetics business,” said Karen Grant, an analyst at market research firm NPD Group. “September was one of the best performing months of the year … particularly for skin care.”

According to NPD data, between January and June, skin-care sales were down 6%, makeup was off 7% and fragrances down 10%. There has been some pickup from those declines. From the start of the year through the end of the third quarter, skin care is now down 5%, makeup is down 6%, although fragrance continues to struggle and is down in the double digits. “I see it as some improvement, [but] it’s still a challenging time for the industry,” Grant said.

Sales of beauty products held up well in previous recessions. One theory is that women spend more on small extravagances, like lipstick, in tough times. But that resilience didn’t come through in the latest downturn as sales, particularly in upscale department stores, slumped. Companies exposed to the beauty industry range from the upscale Estee Lauder to Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), which sells such products as Olay face cream and Pantene shampoo. These companies stand to benefit from any pickup in beauty sales.

“I think globally you are seeing some of the growth [in beauty] coming back, particularly in Asia. In the U.S., it’s still a little early to see consistent category growth returning. You are seeing some companies doing better than others,” said Sanford Bernstein analyst Ali Dibadj. Some beauty companies may do better than expected, he said, but they are not yet back to the levels they were at before the recession.

Caris’ Bolton Weiser says the signs of improvement in beauty could “indicate some better things for P&G.” Procter’s more discretionary lines of beauty products – like fragrances – were hurt by the slump in consumer spending. P&G sells premium fragrances through tie-ups with brands like Hugo Boss.

Similarly, direct-seller Avon Products Inc. (AVP) is another potential beneficiary of improvements in beauty. Avon, Estee Lauder and P&G all report earnings in coming days.

Estee Lauder, while disclosing better-than-expected sales, said it is staying cautious in its expectations on consumer spending. Along similar lines, St. Ives lotion and Nexxus hair products maker Alberto-Culver Co. (ACV) has warned that any recovery in consumer spending will be slow, particularly for premium products.

At the beauty counters of a New York City department store, saleswomen recently said they have seen some pickup, but that consumers are still a little tight fisted. “They buy only when they need,” said one saleswoman, adding that women are still not stocking up as much as they used to on these little luxuries.

-By Anjali Cordeiro, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2200; anjali.cordeiro@dowjones.com

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

From the most recent PBA report:

Q3 results are in for the Salon/Spa Tracking Survey and the Salon/Spa Performance Index (SSPI). Unfortunately, the Listserve system does not allow inclusion of the report as an attachment.  For those interested in a copy, instructions are at the end of this email.


Some of the more notable findings in the reports:


Salon/Spa Performance Index


  • The beauty industry outlook remains positive in the 3rd quarter as the Salon/Spa Performance Index shows modest gain.
  • For the first time in 2009, salon/spa owners report net increase in service sales.
  • Retail sales remain soft.
  • Fully seven out of 10 salon/spa owners said they expect to have higher service sales in six months.
  • 61% are also much more optimistic about stronger retail sales in the months ahead.


Salon/Spa Tracking Survey


  • Sales performances differed across sales categories in Q3.
  • 57% of salon/spa owners in the $500,000-$999,999 sales category reported higher service sales in Q3.
  • In contrast, just 30% of owners with sales of $2 million or more reported higher service sales in Q3.
  • 42% of owners with annual sales of less than $250,000 reported lower sales in Q3.


  • Salon/spa owners continued to report lower retail sales volume in Q3 with 47% reporting lower retail sales.
  • Owners in the highest sales volume category reported the softest retail sales in Q3.
  • 47% of owners in the $1 million – $1.9 million sales category reported higher retail sales in Q3, while 40% reported lower sales.


  • On average, salon/spa owners reported a 1.5% increase in back bar costs in Q3.
  • 16% of salon/spa owners said they increased service prices in Q3.
  • 28% percent of salon/spa owners said they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in Q3.
  • Looking ahead, 46 percent of owners said they plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months.


  • Salon/spa owners reported a reduction in customer traffic levels in Q3.
  • Owners reported slightly higher staffing levels for the second consecutive quarter.
  • The also reported a decline in the average workweek of their employees.
  • Top challenge for salon/spa owners: “building and maintaining sales volume”.

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In anticipation of the holiday season, we’re bringing a little Hollywood to our home office.  We had the chance to say “lights, camera, action!” recently, and we definitely had a great time.

We hope you like our new video.  It is a great piece to run in a salon or spa to show people how the product works.

We’ll sign autographs if you ask nicely!

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Atlanta, GA (October 26, 2009) – With the holidays right around the corner, Whiter Image, a leader in the $14 billion teeth whitening industry, is preparing for the expected increase in sales.  2009 has brought tremendous growth, and the company believes even more salons and spas will be stocking up for the holiday season.

In preparation for the holidays, a number of salons are looking for new and unique products to sell to clients for stocking stuffers.  Whiter Image products are the perfect additional profit center for both gift giving and personal use.  By adding teeth whitening products to a salon’s current selection, it gives the employees something new to discuss with customers.  It is the perfect conversation starter when a customer is coming in for her holiday hair color or tan.

You can learn more about Whiter Image by checking out the new video.

Why Teeth Whitening: Customers who frequent spas and salons are aesthetically driven customers looking for ways to improve their appearance.  Whiter Image recognizes this need and provides products that help them to achieve their goals.  The products our easy to cross-promote with existing product lines as well as future ones.  Whiter Image realizes that these needs exist, and the company is able to help make your product lines well-rounded by including teeth whitening products.

Teeth Whitening in the Beauty Industry: The rapidly growing beauty market is the prime place for teeth whitening products.  It is about finding new ways to drive sales with products such as Whiter Image that compliment current products and services.  Teeth whitening products often result in repeat sales from customers as well as opportunities for new sales with their friends and family.

Whiter Image Products: Whiter Image has been a leader in the teeth whitening industry for over two years.  With excellent name and product recognition, customers have seen the brand in magazines such as Shape and USWeekly, and they know it works.  Whiter Image carries three products: TOGO Pens, the Chic-Flic, and Premium Prefilled Trays for use with L.E.D. lights.  All three items provide customers with exceptional results quickly.  “At the end of the day, vanity has a continuity even in challenging times and the same person who is getting hair highlights or a French manicure is likely interested in white teeth. Why shouldn’t salons take that share of wallet as well versus letting the customer walk out the door and spend their teeth whitening dollars elsewhere?” says Brad Stevens, Founding Partner.

About Whiter Image

Whiter Image™ is proud to be a leader in the teeth whitening industry as a founding member of the Council for Cosmetic Teeth Whitening and an author of industry best practices as chosen by industry leaders.  Whiter Image recognizes the importance of offering advanced teeth whitening products comprised of innovation, ease of use, the highest quality ingredients, affordability, and unsurpassed customer support. www.whiterimage.com

Originally published on PRlog.com.

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Hello!  It’s Whiter Image’s social media girl.  It’s Friday, and let’s face it: none of us want to be sitting in our offices right now.  It is nice outside, and we want to go for long walks and sip wine on patios.

I’ve hijacked the blog this morning, because I have GOT to tell you about my new favorite winter product.

My skin has been acting all sorts of weird this fall.  Atlanta’s weather has been up one minute and way down the next.  Seriously, it was the same temperature here as in New York City a few days ago.  These rapid temperature changes have been screwing with my skin.  It has been so dry.

A few weeks ago I picked up Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I did not have high expectations.  Clinique doesn’t really do much for my skin, but I had heard the lotion was the best of the best.clq_68LE_250

I am SO glad I got it.  Almost immediately I noticed a difference.  My skin was more hydrated but not greasy.   It didn’t make my skin breakout nor did it feel heavy.

For $24.00, it is a great buy.  I suspect this will last me through the entire fall, winter, and early spring.

Go grab one today!

Also, don’t forget for the whole month of October, we’re donating to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  Use code IMAGE1 to get 15% off, and we’ll give 10% to BCRF.

Have a great weekend!

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Atlanta, GA (October 19, 2009) – Whiter Image, a leader in the $14 billion teeth whitening industry, has expanded its international presence to now include South Africa.  The initiative will expand its international relationships and will involve strong growth within several industry sectors including spas, salons, dentists, retail chain groups, and independent whitening facilities.

The products debuted at the Professional Beauty Show in Johannesburg in late September 2009.  “[The response] has been very positive…every salon we have approached has come on board.  To make it easier for the salons to start, we have introduced a rental program for the lights.  This has been very well received,” says Tony who is the Managing Director of the new division.

The expansion into South Africa is an exciting step for Whiter Image.  With strong success in the United States and Canada along with several other countries in Europe and South America, this is the first step for the company in Africa.  Brad Stevens, one of Whiter Image’s Founding Partners said “We are very pleased with the business intelligence and strategy outlined by our new relationships in South Africa. The team has a strong record of success in related industries, but most importantly they have shown an extremely proactive approach towards capturing market share with diversification in mind.”

“What I did not realize was how popular and important the whitening pens would prove to be. Everyone that we have shown them to and has used them absolutely loves them. It is a great way to get a foot in the door with the salons. Once they have taken the Pen Starter Pack and you start showing them the potential and how much money they can make in their teeth whitening business, they eventually end up purchasing the light, stock and all the other promotional material that they need,” said Tony.

The success in South Africa comes even during one of the country’s worst economic periods in a long time.  Like the United States, South Africa is in the midst of a recession.  Whiter Image’s approach in South Africa has been one of perseverance and optimism.

“The economy is very tough at the moment. Most salons have really struggled to keep their heads above water. It has been one of the toughest winters ever. With summer now approaching and consumer confidence improving we expect to do great business in the months to come. Also next year South Africa hosts the 2010 Soccer World Cup so the salons should coin it with all the tourists coming to be pampered during their stay,” says Tony.

Gift Pack 02“We have also taken a lot of creative steps to uniquely merchandise the products as well including the use of an innovative, clear display bag that doubles as a wine carrier.  The pens specifically have an additional benefit of instantly wiping off the crimson film to have your brightest night after a dinner with your favorite Merlot,” Tony commented.

Whiter Image is excited about the success in South Africa.  The opportunities are growing each day, and the company is looking for new ways to continue growth in the country.  Whiter Image will also be showing at the Professional Beauty Show in Cape Town in March 2010, Durban in April 2010, and Johannesburg in August 2010.

About Whiter Image

Whiter Image is proud to be a leader in the teeth whitening industry offering some of the most innovative, effective, and beautifully packaged solutions in the market. The company primarily distributes whitening systems and retail products to premium accounts in the spa, salon, tanning and beauty markets both domestic and internationally. Whiter Image is a founding member of the Council for Cosmetic Teeth Whitening and a co-author of industry best practices with a reputation for outstanding results, affordability, and unsurpassed customer support. www.whiterimage.com

You can go to the press release on PRLog here.

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Whiter Image is featured in New Beauty Magazine’s new issue. The Chic-Flic pen received a page of coverage including a picture of the model’s plump lips.

WI - NewBeauty - FallWinter 09 cvr

WI - NewBeauty - FallWinter 09 int

This issue of New Beauty is available on newsstands now.

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