Shorn in the USA

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The Independent Online
Lesley Clarke, wife of hairdresser Nicky Clarke, and the driving force behind their hair products range, has signed up a deal to have Nicky Clarke hair products distributed in the US.

Sales of the range, launched in 1992, have soared to pounds 5m for the year to the end of February 1997, and are projected to hit pounds 7m in the current year.

The deal in the US, with distributor Richard Ravid Inc, will be the most ambitious move yet taken by the business, since Mr and Mrs Clarke hit on the idea in 1991.

Since then, the group has sold the range to Boots, Tesco, Safeway, Sainsbury's and Superdrug.

Mrs Clarke says she saw a gap for a product which bridged the cheap, 99p a bottle shampoo end of the market, and the designer ranges sold by salons for pounds 12 a bottle. A bottle of Nicky Clarke shampoo sells for about pounds 3.15 in the supermarket.

Using distinctive aluminium bottles, and aromatherapy, the Hairomatherapy range is produced, bottled and packaged by sub-contractors in the UK. Sub-contractors have already been appointed to deal with the US side of the business.

Mrs Clarke says she has a new range of products due to be launched in the autumn. The two will be in the US over the next few months, promoting the range and appearing on chat shows, where Mr Clarke will be demonstrating hair makeovers on TV. A cut in his Mayfair salon does not come cheap, at up to pounds 250 a snip.