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Helen of Troy always consumer-centric.

Et PASO, Texas--Innovation, superior product quality and competitive pricing are the hallmarks that have established Helen of Troy's leadership position in the consumer products market. Helen of Troy is divided into three segments: housewares, health care/home environment and personal care.

The housewares segment encompasses the operations of the OXO family of brands with products that include kitchen tools, cutlery, bar and wine accessories, household cleaning tools, food storage containers, tea kettles, trash cans, storage and organization products, hand tools, kitchen mitts and trivets, barbecue tools, and baby and toddler care products.

The company's health care/home environment products include humidifiers, dehumidifiers, vaporizers, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, air purifiers, fans, portable heaters, heating pads, electronic mosquito traps and water filtration units, and the Helen of Troy personal care segment includes hair dryers, straighteners, curling irons, hair setters, shavers, mirrors, hot air brushes, home hair clippers and trimmers, paraffin baths, massage cushions, footbaths, body massagers, brushes, combs, hair accessories, liquid and aerosol hair care and styling products, men's fragrances, men's and women's antiperspirants and deodorants, liquid and bar soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair treatments, foot powder, body powder, and skin care products.

The company says all three segments sell their products primarily through mass merchandisers, drug store chains, warehouse clubs, catalogs, grocery stores and specialty stores. In addition, the personal care segment sells extensively through beauty supply retailers and wholesalers, and the health care/home environment segment sells certain of its product lines through medical distributors and other products through home improvement stores.

Helen of Troy is transforming itself, with the goal of delivering results for customers and shareholders. There has been much progress toward achieving that goal over the past two years, according to the company's chief executive officer, Julien Mininberg, who spoke to this transformation in April.

Along with tripling its size over the past decade, Helen of Troy--a $1.5 billion company--has reorganized and brought in new talent in key roles, overhauled its global operations and made three acquisitions within the past two years. The company says this has resulted in growth, improvement in its market position in most categories, a significant increase in its earnings and a doubling in its stock price since the beginning of 2014.

Beauty care, according to Mininberg, is the company's historical core, representing 30% of its sales. This sector has been the one most significantly revamped in the transformation, with new management and a focus on consumers. The company remains a leader in retail appliances, personal care, and brushes and accessories while it is "focused on consumer-centric innovation to bring growth and profitability to the categories it competes and participates in."

According to Leah Bailey, Helen of Troy's president of global beauty, "consumer-centric" means developing products rooted in a deep understanding of the habits, practices, needs and desires of consumers. "We have made a significant investment in consumer research," Bailey said in April. "Retailers can rest assured that the biggest innovations we bring them are based on premarket testing."

Bailey cited three examples of the company working with its manufacturers to create custom designs with new features that differentiate its products and brands in the areas consumers care most about: Revlon OneStep Hair Dryer and Styler, a hair dryer with the power of a dryer and the precision of a styler that delivers greater control and speed; the company's relaunch of Pro Beauty Tools, to meet the needs of consumers wanting professional-grade products in the retail channel; and Hot Tools XL, a line of professional styling appliances to address the needs associated with longer hairstyles.

Notes vice president of beauty sales Perry Sansone of the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Styler: "This product has been so successful with our consumers and retailers that we are now launching our next product in the range--the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer."

The drug channel continues to play a major role for the company, according to Sansone. "We will make excellent partners in pursuit of bringing a greater beauty focus to the hair category in drug. We will bring innovation to this flat category that will drive traffic and profitable sales as consumers choose to buy products that will make a difference to their daily routine of hair care and style."

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Helen of Troy

One Helen of Troy Plaza

El Paso, Texas 79912

Key contact: Perry Sansone, Vice President of Beauty Sales

Website: hotus.com

Phone: (915) 225-8000

Primary businesses: BEAUTY CARE

Personal care products

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Housewares, home environment products

Total Store Expo booth #2723
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Title Annotation:TSE 2016: CORPORATE PROFILES
Publication:Chain Drug Review
Date:Aug 8, 2016
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