P&G closes Reflect.com beauty brand

Procter & Gamble has pulled the plug on Reflect.com, its “customisable” beauty brand, closing down the website and retail outlets in San Francisco and Chicago from July 1.

Procter & Gamble has pulled the plug on Reflect.com, its “customisable” beauty brand, closing down the website and retail outlets in San Francisco and Chicago from July 1.

Reflect.com was launched in 1999, and offered consumers the opportunity to create their own unique make-up, skincare, haircare and perfume products by selecting from a range of options including colour, fragrance, ingredients, packaging and even product name. Products were then mailed to customers within five days.

A P&G spokeswoman says: “P&G has decided to focus on its core businesses. We have gained significant knowledge from our involvement with Reflect, and we are applying this to other P&G brands.”

She was unable to give any details of sales of Reflect products over the past five years, nor could she say how much P&G had invested in the business.

P&G, in partnership with venture capital fund Institutional Venture Partners, is understood to have put more than $50m (&£27m) into the launch of Reflect in September 1999. In 2000, Reflect collected another $30m (&£16m) in second-round financing from P&G and two venture capital firms.

P&G held a majority stake in the brand, contributing scientific expertise, research and development and manufacturing assistance. Several P&G executives sat on the Reflect board. These included P&G chairman and chief executive officer AG Lafley.

Corgi Classics, the company best known for its die-cast collectible cars, is investing &£5.5m in repositioning itself as a contemporary toymaker as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.

Corgi is moving away from collectibles and repositioning itself as a toymaker, as it was when it was established. The company plans to invest &£2m in new product development. The move will be supported with a &£3.5m marketing drive, including Corgi’s biggest television campaign.

Products to be launched this year include cars that transform into other toys, electronic track sets and the Streakerz range, which is being rolled out next month supported by a TV campaign.

Next year, Corgi will move into the infant and pre-school markets with the launch of a range of toys to encourage education and development. The pre-school ranges are uncharted territory for the company, but Corgi marketing director Alex Balzaretti is “confident of success”.

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