The Beauty Cross Channel Monitor will help companies track trends across retail channels and categories in a market where access to comprehensive and up to date information is crucial. Information gap Adequate market information has been hard to come by, making it difficult to judge the size of different niches and identify potential opportunities, according to IRI executive Steve Johnson. Johnson said the partnership with the NDP Group "brings our clients the only total view of the beauty industry, which is desperately needed." March is earmarked as the launch date for the Beauty Cross Channel Monitor, which will track fragrance, cosmetics and skin care sold at department stores, food, drug and mass outlets, excluding Wal-Mart. To help companies pinpoint changes in specific niches it will break down categories into segments splitting cosmetics into eye, face, lip, nail and sets/kits, fragrance into juices, gift sets and ancillaries and skin care into body, face sets/kits, hair care and sun care. Understanding trends As well as enabling companies to identify the market share of different brands, categories and segments, the new tool will help them spot the trends that are driving the US beauty market. "The Beauty Cross Channel Monitor is indispensable for understanding what is selling, where, why and at what prices," said Diane Nicholson, Beauty president at NDP Group. In another venture IRI and NDP have joined IMS to develop the Multi-Outlet Beauty Study, which provides a cross channel view of the beauty market in France.