Archive for the ‘OPI’ Category

Out Of My Mind On A Friday Mornin’

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Are the LIon's going to have a winning season?

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Happy birthday BUB!

Speaking of birthdays, Tony Cuccio will turn 59 next week. I remember his when he had black hair, thin and wore dark sunglasses in his trade ads. Amazing how fast the years go by.

I just came back from Israel where I along with a few other distributors met with Moroccanoil. We got a full dose of Israel including amazing tours and got to see their factory. I will say that this was my first visit to Israel and had no idea the country was as stunning as it was. The media, religious institutions and others make it sound almost dreary, dangerous and filled with fanatics. But Israel is anything but that and like the U.S., secular. The two main languages are Arabic and Hebrew. Jews and Muslims co-exist and I rarely saw police except for civil infractions. The food and wine is among the best anywhere as they grow virtually 100% of their needs. I can write pages upon pages of the experience but like most that visit once, I too will go back.

Now that Colomer was bought by Revlon, that makes it official: All major pro nail companies are now owned by public companies. OPI by Coty, CND by Revlon and Essie by L’Oreal. Rumor has it yet another nail company will be bought in the next week or two. Could it be Orly?

Speaking of CND, the new Forbidden collection is shipping. Alas, only the Shellac shades are available as they have yet to ship Vinylux. This is going to be one hot collection.

Essie Gel Color is getting closer to launch. 36 shades at $17.50 cost. Too bad they did not name them the same as the polish colors and why not? They matched them up to existing colors. I know I wrote about this before but still hoping they change their minds.

It’s Cheeseburgers in Paradise next Friday at TNG world headquarters. If you are in the neighborhood, stop on by for a Black Angus burger hot off the grill.

The Industry Source First Annual Trade Event takes place Sunday, September 15 from 10AM to 2PM at all 20 store locations. This is going to be a really cool event and the first of its kind in the industry. Registration is open and you must register to attend. There is no admission charge. Education, door busters and special promotions will be featured at all locations but each location will have something a little different to make it even more fun.

49 degrees this morning and it’s August. Summer is over and like Spring, the two best seasons, totally disappointing.

Why is it when you fill up your gas tank, it take a decent amount of time to go from F to M but it zooms from M to E?

And is the cash discount at the pump the biggest scam of all time?

Rumor has it the new iPhone will have fingerprint security. No passcodes or passwords. The iPhone will read your fingerprint to unlock itself. And the new iWatch is coming.

The pleasant owner of the Ambassador Bridge raised rates yet again. Looks like Moroun is making everyone pay for that second bridge.

Between Detroit’s bankruptcy and Windsor’s woes, talk about a bridge over troubled waters.

Happy Friday!

OPI Bops Into Culture

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Do you enjoy watching commercials?

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There is always someone thinking about the next big thing.

There is always someone thinking about doing marketing different.

And then there are those that not only think but do.

How else can you explain this commercial from OPI?

It’s riveting and may also explain how both OPI and The Industry Source sold out in a matter of days their limited edition James Bond $15 top coat.

Happy Tuesday!

Coty Brings Fresh Air to Pro Salon Business

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

How often do you use fragrance (perfume)?

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As expected, Coty bought OPI Monday making OPI perhaps the most valuable company in the history of the pro beauty industry. L’Oreal bought MATRIX and Redken for a mere percentage of what Coty paid for OPI.

Coty which owns Sally Hansen and Rimmel among its brands is also a worldwide leader in fragrances. The information below is from their website:

Today, Coty is the world’s largest fragrance company, and a global leader in the beauty industry. After more than one hundred years in the business, Coty continues to draw on the creative, entrepreneurial and visionary legacy of its founder and, more recently Bernd Beetz, Chief Executive Officer of Coty Inc. Both visionaries have dramatically shaped and re-shaped the future of the company and the beauty industry itself.

Less than a week of acquiring OPI, they also bought Philosophy, known for their holiday lotions and potions. Plus they announced they are making yet another acquisition. WOW is all I can say.

But in the meantime, OPI is the story of the year. In a press release sent by Coty and George Schaeffer, the common thread was “that if isn’t broken, then there is nothing to fix.” With that said, OPI will continue to be the industry leader in the pro nail category and the entire management team is staying on including George.

This is good news indeed. Coty already owns the majority of the nail business in mass retail and now they have the dominant position in professional salons and spas. They have the vision and celebrity names to make OPI even a bigger player and surely they paid a premium knowing what an asset they bought.

The bottom line is that it’s business as usual. With George and the management team staying on, we know the integrity and brand proposition will remain intact and Coty’s influence will only enhance it.

I’m excited and await the new opportunities. In the meantime, congratulations to George, Suzi and Miriam from taking a dental supply company into a global giant and selling to a company that understands their vision and will take it to the next level.

Happy Wednesday!

Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Are you a Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopper?

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So happy to be back to work today. One can only take so many consecutive days of eating and drinking anything and everything.

It’s also nice to be back to work today since all the family members left yesterday. They devoured virtually everything in sight and then made a total mess throughout the house. You would not believe the places I found candy wrappers and pistachio nut shells.

OPI is in the news once again. The Wall St. Journal is stating that Coty is the buyer and the price is near $1 Billion. With OPI and Sally Hansen, Coty will own the nail market.

I also heard over the weekend Essie is hitting Walgreen’s the first of the year with a retail price of $8. At this point, any difference in Walgreen’s, Target or even Wal-Mart selling the brand if Ulta does?

MSU 11-1, beats Penn State at Penn State for the first time since 1965 AND is the only team to beat Wisconsin. Our reward? Thumbs down for the BCS games. Enough Mickey Mouse for the Spartan’s.

I was at Somerset Mall on Black Friday (most people don’t know why it’s called that but they know to wake up early to shop) and it was busy but not crazy busy. Except for the Apple store where there was standing room only.

If someone gave you $500 to spend, what would you buy? Girls would opt in for clothes and shoes while boys would opt in for electronics. Unisex choices include designer jeans and fragrance.

Question: If you were at work and your daughter or son called and said they needed you to bring home a red pencil for their homework assignment, would take one from the office or stop at Staples? More than 90% stated they would take one from the office in a major study.

Happy Monday!

Bottle of OPI Lacquer: $4.25; All The Bottles: $1 Billion; Naming Your Own Colors: Priceless

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

If you could find out how long you will live, would you want to know?

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Paul DeJoria is licking his chops and having a shot of Patron to celebrate. Already worth some $3.5 Billion, he is watching from the sidelines what OPI is going to fetch. DeJoria owns both Paul Mitchell and Patron. Mitchell is the beauty industry’s biggest privately held company.

OPI is the second largest and is on the auction block. Looks like Coty is a lead bidder and a few private equity firms such as Bain are tagging along. Ultimately the selling price could be $1 billion.

That’s a lot of money. We all know Essie sold to L’Oreal earlier this year but that was a $28 million company compared to the mammoth $300 million company OPI is. I wouldn’t be surprised if L’Oreal doesn’t step in later, they know there isn’t another brand like OPI around.

I’ve written my fair share about OPI, George Schaeffer, Suzi-Weiss Fleishmann and for good reason. They created a phenomenon from nothing. They took risks and spent millions in consumer publications. They took risks and put in state-of-the-art filling machines when most people were outsourcing. They took risks in naming lacquers with strange names.

Now the risks are going to pay off and pay off big. They deserve it. But once the deal is over, the bigger questions remain: Will OPI go retail to pay off the investment and will George and Suzi stay on?

Of course there is a small chance that all this talk from today’s Wall St. Journal is gibberish and only rumors. Wouldn’t that be nice. But in today’s global economy and with companies and equity firms flush with cash, this sounds like an opportunity that won’t be passed up.

WOW. What else is there to say?

Happy Wednesday!

CND’s Shellac Creates New Category Overnight

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

What do you think will be the most popular nail service in two years at the salon?

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TNG has been selling nail products for more than 26 years. For us, it started with a “honey tip” brush. I will never forget a nail tech coming into my store and asking me for this brush. I asked her, “Why would you want honey on the tip of it?” She laughed and told me it was a brush made by Creative Nail Design.

The things you learn in business. Solarnail was the rage and invented by Dr. Nordstrom who was Jan Arnold’s (co-founder) and Jim Nordstrom’s (co-founder) father. Nordstrom was a dentist and figured out dental products could be used on nails. And voila, acrylics and Creative Nail Design were born.

This new category was hot, hot, hot. This spawned new companies overnight including the now infamous Odontorium Products, Inc. known as OPI started by George Schaeffer in 1981. Schaeffer’s family was in the dental supply business and coincidentally, discovered the same thing about dental products being able to be used on nails.

Everyone wanted in. Larry Gaertner went from collecting guns to making No Lift Primer. Jack Sperling rode the wave with Alpha 9 and his trade show had no less than 100 acrylic companies hawking powders and liquids.

Then came odorless acrylics. Frank and Laura DeSantis’s Aqua Nails was the rage. Both CND and OPI came out with their formulas but the stickiness and application issues were too much to overcome.

Fast forward to 2010 and CND has once again invented a new category: Gel polish. President John Heffner claims CND spent over 4 years on product development and wanted it just right. Prior to introduction they did a dog and pony show with their top USA distributors to get opening order ideas and launched internationally.

Based on their data they came up with a plan and then tripled it. Little did they know what was in store. “It totally blindsided us,” quips Jacquie Johnson, VP of Sales. “Not even Larry could predict this overnight sensation.”

OK, I will admit I was hesitant due to the economy, price and prior launches. But in 26 years, I have never seen anything like Shellac.

Now that we have the new category, here is what I don’t get. How did so many companies come up with their own version in less than a couple months when it took CND over 4 years? How does Danny Hale’s Gelish have 48 colors with zero R&D and how does Jessica have 36 colors overnight?

Rick Slack, President of NSI, gave me a call and told me his new line coming out in October has been in R&D for quite a while. At least NSI has R&D. NSI’s line will sport 24 colors in 1/2 oz. bottles for a great price.

American International’s IBD and China Glaze are coming out as well this fall and they certainly have the resources behind them. But I’m seeing companies come out of the woodwork with 24, 36, 48 and even more colors. The question is, none of these companies have a chemist on staff, none have a working lab and all are outsourcing. How can they all be doing this at the same time?

Ah, the acrylic days are back. When Kym Lee, a nail tech in Southern California can launch a line called Galaxy while doing nails at her salon, you know anything is possible. Kym was a great gal and was in the right place at the right time. But now?

I wonder. Shellac has the name, the PR, the formulation. What they don’t have is stock. I was told we will receive some early next week and most orders will be fully caught up by late September. CND’s arch rivals are salivating. But in the end who will survive?

And what will the fate of the nail polish industry be?Women who have been accustomed to choosing from among 300 colors are tickled pink to find any Shellac color and wear it.

But the biggest question is what is George Schaeffer coming up with? OPI owns the color category and the one thing I know about George is this: Not only will he come out with a winning product, he will have plenty of inventory.

Game on. In the end, it will just like 1985 again, CND and OPI.

Happy Thursday!

Inside the World of OPI

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Who were you rooting for to win the Master's?

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Tucked into a non-descript side street surrounded by dated buildings and razor topped fences one would barely notice that this is where OPI’s headquarters are located. With the exception of a couple OPI signs, you would drive right by. While it may be no Disneyland on the outside, once you get through security, OPI Land is alive and well.

Founded by and still going strong, the affable George Schaeffer appears in his signature suspenders, never wearing a tie. His teddy bear face is for show, he can be a bear when needed. But today, he takes me to his office which hasn’t changed much since my last visit 10 years ago. The peanut M&M’s are still plentiful (we share many things in common).

I’m most excited to see his new filling lines, he’s most excited to show me his Toto electronic toilet. I’ve seen a lot of things in my life, but not this. George always has a step on technology, he loves his gadgets. When you step up to this toilet, the lid automatically opens and if you press another button, the seat lifts up too. There is a master control pad if you can believe and if you sit down, you can have virtually anything done (use your imagination) and when you are done, it self cleans itself and the seats lower. I can only think about that toilet in the middle of the night.

Like Disneyland, OPI consists of several “lands” or buildings. There are buildings for storage, formulation, filling polish, filling lotions, filling liquids, marketing, PR, and shipping. The best of course is watching bottles being filled. There is something fascinating to humans to watch automatic assembly lines. Some 200,000 bottles are filled each day of lacquer and who knows how many more bottles and jars of gels, lotions and potions.

I asked George if he made enough Shrek polish since we sold out of Alice in Wonderland in two days. George assured me yes and thinks it will outsell Alice. I’m not so sure but come next month, we will both find out quickly.

As we stroll from building to building, we pass the hundreds of OPI employees each trained for a specific job function. Some I meet have been with OPI for 20 years or longer. Many have eaten too many M&M’s.

George is proud of his company and the size it has become. He shared with me he no longer remembers “building” the company and now is focused on keeping the stores that depend on him in stock. Today it seems to be no problem, but with no more land to build on, the future could be interesting.

OPI World ended with a OPI tote filled with what else but OPI stuff. Alas I wasn’t checking luggage so I had to leave it behind, but one thing I can say about George, he is always handing out gifts. Now about that toilet. . .

Happy Monday!

Getting Excited About What’s In Front of You

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

What is your favorite brand of nail polish?

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A couple weeks ago a salesperson came in for a meeting. A common occurrence that happens far too often. In conversation I learned he had a daughter and a wife and was traveling light.

I wanted to give him something to take home to earn some bonus points. I gave him the new mini collections from both Essie and OPI.

The phone call I received the next day was such that you would have thought I gave him a couple sets of Tiffany studs. That’s how happy they were.

Last week I interviewed a candidate wanting to work at TNG. He came in from NY and I learned that he too had a daughter and wife. On his way back to NY, I have him the OPI mini collection to earn some bonus points.

He gave the collection to his soon to be 13 year old daughter and she was giddy with excitement. She soon envisioned her father bringing home boxes of TNG goodies. And his wife wants 50 of them for a big birthday party.

The thing is, we are around beauty products all day long and to many of us, they are as utilitarian and exciting as a cup of morning coffee. We are so used to the products that they don’t excite us and we take them for granted. But when the same products are given or made available to those not around them, they jump up and down with excitement.

I doubt the owners wife of a florist gets excited when her husband brings home flowers. I doubt the owners wife of a jewelry store gets excited when her husband brings home another trinket. We all get jaded.

But I’m telling you. These mini collections are priceless and hot. If you own a salon or spa, put a dozen of them at the cash wrap and see what happens. It’s time to get excited about what others get excited about.

Happy Tuesday!

ULTA’s Signature Brands

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010


Welcome to Mardi’s Gras or Fat Tuesday. It’s also the day of eating 500 calorie fat bombs known in the Polish community as Paczki’s.

Recently I strolled through ULTA to see what their latest signature brands were. As I walked through the store (there was one other customer), I noticed that a good 25% of the items  were out of stock. ULTA is no Sephora when it comes to merchandising.

Pro hair care represented more than half the store which makes ULTA the biggest threat to salons. Their signature brands were all L’Oreal especially REDKEN and MATRIX adorned on the back wall. They had more hair dryers and flat irons than some of the manufacturers we buy from. Signature brands were Helen of Troy and Revlon.

OPI was certainly the signature brand when it came to nail care. The Hong Kong collection was displayed at the entrance and at the polish section. OPI itself was larger than all the other nail brands combined. Essie had many colors available but  mostly out of stock. CND color was not sold but their treatments were.

Skin care was a hodge podge and they are certainly weak in this area. DDF and Dermologica was the signature brands but neither stood out well. Make up also seems to be a work in process but certainly Bare Essentual’s was their signature brand.

Most surprising was their private label. In all categories, it was scattered and not well stocked or merchandised. I wonder what percent of their business is in this category.

Oddly, they are also carry many Target and Wal-Mart beauty brands and these too are not well stocked. What is odd is that prestige brands have allowed themselves to be sold with mass brands. Perhaps desperate times call for desperate measures but long term, I wonder.

No doubt women walking into ULTA are looking for salon wet goods, nail color and appliances. This is where they shine. Salons have the ability to compete by offering bi-monthly deals and having a nice, tight retail area. ULTA pricing on open stock items is the same as salons so salons can’t complain in that area. The complaint is the constant promotions ULTA offers. We offer plenty of the same promotions ULTA does so the resources are available.

ULTA is a work in progress. More importantly, ULTA is a wake up call to our industry. It’s time that we respond.

Happy Tuesday!

thebeautybook Spring 2010: Renewed Optimism

Monday, January 4th, 2010


thebeautybook 2010 Spring Edition

Finally, 2010 is here. Memories of the previous year and decade will linger for far too long but at least it’s over. We can now focus on the next decade and especially this new year.

This is the year that we need to move our outer lips in the up direction instead of the down direction. This is the year in which we can’t wait for something to happen, we have to make it happen.

This is the year of renewed optimism. Consumers see the first half as still difficult but see the second half with bright eyes and the sun finally breaking through the clouds. If you were ever in Florida on vacation and all it did was rain, then you know the feeling the first day the sun shone bright.

thebeautybook Spring 2010 is filled with renewed optimism. We reinvented the book and the look. Early responses have been terrific. There are new lines such as Spa Ritual and Ceripil, perennials like OPI (new Hong Kong collection), CND and FPO. And there is a brand new product called Forever Natural that’s bound to be a major hit.

More importantly, thebeautybook Spring 2010 brings the arrival of a new year, new decade and new inspiration. This week I’ll write about more stuff we are doing to help make 2010 the year to remember on the "happy" side.

Happy Monday and welcome back!