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Bare Escentuals grows in 2008

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Overall retail sales of prestige cosmetics shrank 6% in the fiscal 2008 fourth quarter, but Bare Escentuals' sales in the channel were up 2%; CEO Leslie Blodgett attributes the standout performance to the "unique strength of our brand and our deep connection with our loyal consumer base." Mineral makeup firm remains focused on protecting that consumer base, attracting new customers, expanding distribution domestically and abroad, and simplifying company organizational structure in recessed economy, firm says in a Feb. 26 earnings call. Net Q4 sales increased 2% to $147.1 mil.; net income was $24.6 mil., down 9%. Firm plans busy 2009 launch schedule, beginning with a mascara from its Buxom brand; new mascara under its bareMinerals umbrella will debut in summer - "our first step to growing a meaningful eye business for the bareMinerals brand," Blodgett says. Company will also launch a new bareMinerals matte foundation "enhanced with RareMinerals and supported by strong clinical results," according to the exec. Firm intends to lure new customers via increased sampling, involvement in social networking Web sites, and promotion of makeup kits. Bare Escentuals booked $556.2 mil. in net sales for the year, and recorded $98 mil. in net income, up 9% and 11% from 2007

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