NEW STORE INTEGRATES TRADITIONAL WITH ALTERNATIVE

BOULDER, Colo. -- Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy here has opened its first retail unit, a hybrid offering of traditional and natural remedies.s and lotions, according to manager Jennifer Cooke. Under the Pharmaca banner, the store dispenses prescription medications "like a regular pharmacy," and stocks more than 1,800 over-the-counter drugs, Cooke added.Said Barry Perzow, co-founder and co-chief executive

BOULDER, Colo. -- Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy here has opened its first retail unit, a hybrid offering of traditional and natural remedies.

s and lotions, according to manager Jennifer Cooke. Under the Pharmaca banner, the store dispenses prescription medications "like a regular pharmacy," and stocks more than 1,800 over-the-counter drugs, Cooke added.

Said Barry Perzow, co-founder and co-chief executive officer, "We're not advocating one approach over another." Perzow and co-founder/co-CEO Dale Schwartz, who plan to open future stores, want the unit to be a "destination location for consumers seeking science-based information about these products."

The store has private booths for individual consultations and a library where customers can sample herbal teas and view health information in print and via computer. Registered pharmacists, certified herbalists, nutritionists and estheticians man the unit.

L'Oreal Invests in Ethnic Beauty Research

NEW YORK -- L'Oreal USA here said it will launch next year a Chicago-based research institute devoted entirely to ethnic hair and skin care.

The company hopes for a better understanding of the differences in hair, scalp and skin characteristics between African-Americans and Caucasians. The institute will address problems experienced by ethnic consumers that will eventually help stimulate product development. The L'Oreal Institute for Ethnic Hair & Skin Research is reportedly being funded by an annual budget from L'Oreal's research and development department and will not initially engage directly in product development, according to Victoria Holloway, director.

Some projects at the center will study scientific and habitual ethnic grooming properties, observers noted, while others will investigate skin care problems unique to people of color, such as elongated skin discoloration resulting from pimples.

The two ethnic personal-care companies acquired by L'Oreal are also based in Chicago. The company bought Soft Sheen in 1998 and the acquisition of Carson (formerly located in Savannah, Ga.) was finalized in August. L'Oreal combined the two soon after the Carson acquisition.

L'Oreal acknowledged the lucrative nature of the ethnic hair care market, saying that African-Americans spend $1.6 billion annually on health and beauty aids and account for 34% of total hair care product sales.