BEAUTY CARE

Beauty Collection offers local consumers a tax break

BY Antoinette Alexander

LOS ANGELES Beauty Collection, a Los Angeles-based beauty products retailer with three locations in Southern California, is offering beauty mavens a tax break in April, and is encouraging other retailers to join the effort.

The move is in response to the state government?s move to increase sales tax by 1% beginning April 1. Some state consumers will see their local sales tax rate increase even more with additional district-level increases approved by counties and cities across the state, the company stated.

“It’s a really tough economic environment – the toughest I’ve ever seen,” stated Shawn Tavakoli, Beauty Collection CEO. “The recession is even hitting beauty retailers, a market segment that’s traditionally done fine in economic downturns. Meanwhile, our elected officials in Sacramento are doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing: they?re raising taxes.”

According to the company, many retailers have seen revenues drop by 25% or more and, during the month of February, the state’s unemployment reach 10.5%, stated Beauty Collection, citing data from the California Labor Market Review.

Beauty Collection represents more than 200 prestige and salon beauty brands with more than 30,000 products.

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Physicians Formula reports net loss in Q4

BY Antoinette Alexander

AZUSA, Calif. Physicians Formula Holdings posted a net loss during the fourth quarter, as consumer spending slowed and retailers tightened inventory control. The beauty company expects the challenging retail environment to continue in 2009.

Net sales for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008 were $28.2 million, compared with net sales of $33.9 million in the year-ago period.

Net loss for the quarter was $24.5 million, or a loss of $1.80 per diluted share, compared with net income of $4.9 million, or a gain of 33 cents per diluted share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-cash goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges, adjusted net income per diluted common share for fourth quarter 2008 was 13 cents.

Net sales for the full year 2008 were $114 million, up 2.2% compared with net sales of $111.5 million for 2007. Net loss for 2008 totaled $19.8 million, or a loss of $1.41 per diluted share, compared with a gain in the year-ago period of $8.7 million, or 60 cents per share. Excluding non-cash goodwill and intangible impairment charges, adjusted net income per diluted common share was 47 cents for 2008.

“Our 2009 strategic initiatives, including new product offerings, our new communication, promotional and merchandising platforms, were designed to raise the profile of our brand, to continue to push the boundaries of innovation and to improve the shopping experience,” stated Ingrid Jackel, chairwoman, CEO of Physicians Formula. “However, during the first quarter of the year, retailers continue to operate under unprecedented tight inventory control programs and, in addition, we are experiencing smaller pipeline orders compared to last year?s larger pipelines from space gains. We expect 2009 will continue to be a very challenging retail environment for our industry.”

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Three brands to advertise on StoreBoard Media’s security pedestals

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Alberto Culver’s Nexxus, Cadbury’s Halls and Kao’s Curel brands have signed on to advertise on StoreBoard Media’s security pedestal media, StoreBoard Media recently announced.

The three brands are currently featured on StoreBoard’s EyeCurve billboards at the entranceways of pharmacy retailers nationwide. The campaigns will run through April 19.

Nexxus and Halls are returning StoreBoard shopper-marketing advertisers, while Curel is making its StoreBoard debut.

StoreBoard shares its revenues with retailers, and because StoreBoard sells its product as media rather than promotion the retailers gain access to new marketing dollars from brands, the company stated.

StoreBoard sells its advertising in four-week cycles. The Nexxus, Halls and Curel campaigns comprise the fourth cycle for 2009.

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