Car wash magnate Ira Feinberg has been an entrepreneur, inventor, and industry expert for close to 50 years. "He's created new products for the car wash industry, and he saw the need for some higher end air fresheners in the market," says Michael Regina, president of Feinberg's latest venture. "We put the company together and got where we are now." The yearling company, Fresh Point Air Freshener, is introducing several products designed to help retailers and their customers meet the need for higher-end product. By going to Italy instead of China to source the company's new air fresheners, Fresh Point found a way to stand out in the market.
"All of our air fresheners, including the packaging, are made in the same factory just outside of Milan, Italy. It's a very high quality product. We use French and Italian perfumes that cost up to ten times as much as what the competition uses," says Regina. "They might pay $4 or $5 per liter. Ours might cost $45 a liter." That elevated quality is a bonus in the current market, as customers look for bargains but are more aware of value than ever. That was a factor in opening the company's doors this year. "We are talking about a product that's not super expensive," says Regina, "And Americans are reliant on their cars for transportation. People are always looking for that new car smell, or a scent that reminds them of the beach." A product that many shoppers view as a necessity still does well, he says.
As a business that is relatively recession resistant, starting a new company is less risky than one might think, says Regina. "Air care has become a pretty big market in the home and in the car," he explains. "People want fresh smelling things, and because of that, it's a segment that has not decreased much, even in the recession." Fresh Point has further protected itself by offering products for both price conscious shoppers and those looking for better value at a slightly higher cost. "We do have price points that extend in both directions," says Regina. "Our cheaper air freshener is about $1.50," a little more than the lowest price on the market, at 99 cents, "but it lasts a little bit longer. Our high end product lasts two, three, four months depending on where you are." For example, consider the company's success in selling such long lasting merchandise. Regina says, "Our most popular line is called 'Sky Gel.' The formulation allows it to last two to three months, depending on the environment it is in. If it is warmer, it will evaporate more quickly."
As a new business, the company is still establishing its online presence. "It's still a work in progress," says Regina. "Right now it is obviously just a simple site we launched to get it out there. Going forward, we'll look into more online ordering functionality. We want our distributors to log on to their account and order what they need without having to use too much manpower." Regina is setting solid goals for the future of the company's online offerings. "Once we get into the next phase of our site, our customers will be able to go online, take a look through our inventory, and order online," he says. "The site is probably going to be tailored more toward the distributors. We'd like to tie into their systems if possible, so we have access to their inventory levels, and if we need to replenish on the fly, we can."
Fresh Point is also putting email technology to good use. "We have been doing email blasts to retailers, trying to get the name out there. We include our trade show schedule, deals and promotions, and so on." And Regina plans on getting more involved in social media. "A Facebook page is definitely in the future, probably more for the consumer," he says.
The company's selling strategy is focused on several kinds of customers. "Our target audience is ideally distributors, but the target for the air freshener would be convenience stores and higher end car washes," says Regina. The product offers lucrative margins, he adds. "Our products basically sell at retail at double the wholesale cost." For distributor pricing, the minimum order is $5,000. There is no minimum for retailer customers.
For more information:
Fresh Point Air Freshener
126 Greylock Ave
Belleville, NJ 07109
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