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November 06, 2008

Swimming Upstream

HellokittyWith Walmart one of the few retailers expected to thrive this holiday season, two brands have chosen this unlikely time to move upmarket.

CVS just announced the opening of Beauty 360, a tony cosmetics store to be launched initially in Washington, DC and Mission Viejo, California. Executives put a rosy face on the move, despite the economy. "It may not be a vacation, or it might not be the new dress, but you know what, the $15 lipstick might not have the same pinch to her that the rest of those higher priced ones do," Reuters quotes CVS executive Mike Bloom. More here.

Meanwhile, Hello Kitty’s parent announced the arrival of upscale Sanrio Luxe in Times Square this November. The move is meant to extend Hello Kitty among girls who grew up with the brand and now want it to accompany them into womanhood. Whether they'll drop $30,000 on a Hello Kitty diamond pendant remains to be seen.

The shop is modeled after a "modern-day nursery storybook with a romantic feeling," Women’s Wear Daily reports. Most items are exclusive to the store, the newspaper reports. The outlet will not limit itself to couture –- it is slated to feature limited-edition Hello Kitty Fender guitars in time for the holidays. More here.


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Brand extensions are all around us — clothing from the Sierra Club, furniture polish from Steinway and, yes, even the kitchen sink from Jacuzzi. TippingSprung, a New York-based brand-extension consultancy, publishes an annual survey on brand extensions with Brandweek. If you spot a noteworthy extension for the blog or survey, email us.



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