Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

A pimple worth pampering

April 30, 2009

While you might hate pimples, apparently they’re kind of a beautiful little thing over at Procter & Gamble.
Wella hair care is one of those businesses that fits into a broad portfolio of everything from Pampers diapers to Tide detergent.  Right?  Still, it’s just a little bit different enough to make some wonder why P&G has held onto it.  It’s not like Wella brand products are filling up shelves at Wal-Mart like Clairol products are.

On Thursday, CEO A.G. Lafley was asked about Wella and Braun (the appliance business which, again, isn’t a clear match with some other P&G products). 
MANUFACTURIING PROCTER OUTLOOKLafley admitted that P&G put some Wella restructuring “on the back burner” while it was busy digesting Gillette.
“We’re going to get it restructured this year and next,” Lafley said during the company’s quarterly earnings call.
He said he likes Wella, especially because innovation at the high-end salon business trickles down.
“Is it worth investing for two or three years? Heck, yes because a lot of innovation and a lot of ideas come out of salons and then go into retail and we want to be on the cutting edge of that.”
Still, it’s not the brand that’s going to drive major growth.
“Will Wella make the difference in the company’s financial results?  It’s a pimple.  Now, I hope it will become more, but right now it’s not going to make a big difference,” Lafley added. 

(with reporting by Ben Klayman)
(Reuters photo of A.G. Lafley)

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