Critical Mass: Del Has Full Spring Lineup

Retailers hope Coty Inc. will plow forward with the bevy of new beauty products Del Laboratories has on its docket for 2008.

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NEW YORK — Retailers hope Coty Inc. will plow forward with the bevy of new beauty products Del Laboratories has on its docket for 2008. Coty recently acquired Del Labs' parent company, DLI Holding Corp., from the New York private equity firm Kelso & Co. The deal, which closed Dec. 31, raises questions about Coty's future plans for the flagship Sally Hansen brand.

Retail sources said they are crossing their fingers that most of the items still make it to their shelves.

Coty would not comment on the terms of the deal, but industry sources estimate the beauty firm paid roughly $800 million to Kelso & Co., which bought Del Labs for $465 million in 2004.

With the purchase of Del Labs, Coty immediately scores the number-one nail category leader — quite a feat when considering the fact that the Sally Hansen brand competes against much bigger companies such as Revlon and L'Oréal. According to industry statistics, Sally Hansen controls more than a 41 percent share of the nail care business — an all-time high for the company.

Sally Hansen executives hope to keep the momentum growing with several new initiatives — including the revisiting of pen technology that took the industry by storm in the Eighties. Del Labs senior vice president of Sally Hansen marketing Bill Boraczek, however, is quick to explain this pen is much different technology than the felt tip. Called Color Quick, the pen dispenses color via a brush activated with a click. Color Quick will retail for $7.95.

Sally Hansen's partnership with fashion designer Tracy Reese has been productive. The brand released the spring 2008 collection inspired by Reese's spring runway show at retail. The shades include Arabian Night, Tunisian Sand, Sumptuous Petal, Spicy Scarlet, Cherry Glaze, Feverish Rose and Sultry Fuchsia.

As products that reduce the time required to accomplish beauty tasks are piquing consumer interest, Sally Hansen has introduced Insta-Dry Speed Dry Drops and Insta-Grip Fast Dry Base Coat. "These are just like in a salon," said Boraczek. A unique item based on prestige options is the new Insta-Brite Nail Whitener, which Boraczek said brings prestige fashion trends to mass.
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