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Companies Placing Luxury SKUs In Mass Market

September 11, 2007

JAPAN: Department stores and specialty shops are no longer the only place to find high-end cosmetics. Mass marketers are now privy to the placement of high-end SKUs, as seen in Japan.

Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. launched a high-end line of skin care products called Dew Superior. The new skin care lineup will become available in drugstores and supermarkets in October and will target women in their late 20s to early 40s. Dew Superior products will be priced from $59-$84, about 50% higher than the Kanebo brands now available in drugstores. Kose Corp. released the high-end Esprique Precious brand at the end of last year, starting with a line of makeup.

Sales in drugstores have been particularly strong, and the company plans to broaden the lineup in August and September with foundations priced in the $25-$33 range and skin care products selling in the $25-$42 range. Max Factor KK is expanding the marketing routes for its SK-II brand of cosmetics to include drugstores as well as department stores.

To stave off any discounting that might erode the image of the brand, the company will no longer print a suggested retail price on new SK-II products.

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