Bluemercury, the modern apothecary that combines spa services with retail, has drafted a major expansion plan, according to the company. The blueprint calls for the 17-store chain to open 12 more locations by year's end, and another 24 to 30 shops next year. Industry sources indicate Bluemercury, which is estimated to be roughly a $68 million business, aims to grow to nearly 360 stores by 2012.
The chain, which opened its first location nearly eight years ago in Washington, D.C., where the business is based, has planted its flag in Philadelphia, Chicago, Princeton, the outskirts of Manhattan, and, on Thursday, extended its reach to the West Coast with a boutique in Los Angeles.
It's spa services, trained sales staff and high-end offerings — which include brands such as NARS Cosmetics, Molton Brown, L'Artisan Parfumeur and T. LeClerc — are designed to lure department store customers and trade-up mass market beauty shoppers. In an interview with WWD last year, Bluemercury founder and chief executive officer Marla Malcolm Beck said, "We're the neighborhood store that knows everything about beauty and skin care. The customer wants us to solve problems." She added that if a customer has a particular skin care concern, she can speak directly to the store's spa aesthetician. "If you solve her problem, you have a client for life."
At the time, Beck said the company's top clients spent $1,000 per year at Bluemercury.
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