CARTERET, N.J. -- Pathmark Stores here will roll out Milani -- an ethnic cosmetics line -- to 100 units in March, according to Rebecca Tanner, national sales manager for Nina International, which markets the products. The retailer is one of several grocery chains being targeted to carry the line.
"Our sets have to be up by March 15 for our [Pathmark] launch the second week of April," said Tanner. The in-line scheme consists of a 2-foot run containing about 100 stock-keeping units, she added. The mix is comprised of a full array of light and dark foundations, blushes and powders. It also includes skin care items. Officials at the 135-unit chain could not be reached for comment.
Pathmark and Nina International have a tentative agreement to conduct in-store promotions scheduled to accompany the April launch. The promotional program includes customer makeovers given by Smith & Baker, a Ft. Lauderdale-based promotional firm that provides makeup artists and hair dressers.
"They actually allow the customers to try the cosmetics," said a Nina International spokeswoman. "They have minimakeovers and the makeup artists educate the consumers as well as the store managers."
In addition to hiring commission-based sales representatives to build Pathmark sets, the supplier will use its own merchandising staff to roll out the line. Distribution to Pathmark outlets, which will not carry the line's lip and nail segments, will be handled by Retail Services, Bridgeport, Conn., and Rita Ann Distributors, Baltimore.
A smaller number of Randalls Food & Drug units will also carry Milani, according to Tanner. The Houston-based retailer is expected to launch the line on Feb. 6 in conjunction with Black History Month. Anywhere from 20 to 50 Randalls will carry the line, she said, with direct-to-store distribution. A free-standing revolving floor display will accommodate the three-foot set, which consists of 143 SKUs. Randalls' launch will also be accompanied by minimakeovers and trials. Plans to roll the line out to Winn-Dixie Stores, Jacksonville, Fla., are in the works also, said Tanner.
In describing the line's attributes, Tanner said, "It's not about ethnicity, it's about skin tones."
"We focus on women of color," commented the spokeswoman. "Not just ethnic colors but women who have all skin tones. We're the first cosmetics company that's actually been able to take the red completely out of our color scheme when it comes to our foundations and our powders.
"[Supermarkets] are going to be excited that they've been able to reach consumers that they haven't been able to reach before," she added. "With the ethnic skin tones, they usually have to go to their local mom-and-pop store to find cosmetics that were tinted around their particular skin tone. With this line, they'll be able to hit any grocery store and find the colors and the quality cosmetics they are looking for."
Retailers merchandising the line in alternative channels include Drug Emporium, Kmart and on January 1 Wal-Mart Stores will begin selling the ethnic line.