WWD.com/beauty-industry-news/beauty-features/elemis-builds-brand-awareness-in-u-s-494621/

British brand Elemis is opening new spas, expanding its retail base and launching a range of products to raise its profile in the U.S.

“We’d like to be a major player in the U.S. spa market with our full-concept store approach, opening new spas and developing our online business,” said Sean Harrington, managing director of Elemis. “We’d like to make our product more readily available throughout the U.S. on a nationwide basis.”

The 18-year-old spa brand is sold in 1,000 spas and 50 department stores worldwide, including Harvey Nichols and John Lewis in the U.K. and Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman in the U.S. The products are also available through the company’s Web site, timetospa.com.

The company entered the U.S. market five years ago and now has more than 100 U.S. spas, including ones at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Connecticut and Loews Miami Beach Hotel, and a freestanding day spa in the Village at Merrick Park shopping mall in Coral Gables, Fla.

The product line is sold at about 100 day and resort spas, 26 Nordstrom stores and, as of last month, a 150-square-foot Bergdorf Goodman counter. By the end of the year, Elemis will be available in 40 Nordstrom doors. According to Harrington, Elemis was the number-three brand for advanced skin care at Nordstrom last year.

“We’re number one in spa business retail and treatment service sales,” said Harrington, adding that Elemis has been a dominant brand in the spa industry for about four years.

By the end of this year, Elemis plans to double its spa and department store doors in the U.S.

“We’re taking the model that was successful in the U.K. and mirroring it in the U.S. market, as we evolve the concept designed for retail,” said Harrington.

Set to make its debut in August, Elemis’ new design features a “spa bar,” “skin lab” and “spa pod” treatment room next to counter space. Harrington described the “spa bar” as an interactive place where monitors offer consumers guidance about the company’s product line, which is divided into eight palettes by lifestyle based on such variables as distress, travel, pregnancy and daily skin care.

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“The ‘spa bar’ is where customers can first experience Elemis through testing out the products and learning about the various programs,” said Harrington.

Customers can then get a complimentary skin analysis through a Visia scanner as part of the “skin lab.” The “spa pod” will offer customers 30-minute face and body treatments in the massage chair for $45 each.

“We’re capitalizing on our spa image, but delivering treatments that are department store-friendly,” said Harrington. “These short treatments are designed for people on the go who want to be in and out. It doesn’t replace your spa treatment, but gives you that extra boost to help you get through the week.”

Elemis executives hope this three-pronged approach increases clients’ average spend per visit and the frequency of their visits by “making the Elemis counter a destination.”

“We’re aiming to be one of the top-five brands in terms of revenue, but with only a third of the clients because we’re about individual customer development,” said Harrington. “Our target for every store is to be performing in the top-five ranking out of all cosmetic brands.”

This month, Elemis is introducing Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Program, a three-step, at-home skin care regimen that includes a facial wash, resurfacing serum and night cream, along with a Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial treatment. With Micro-encapsulated Tri-Enzyme patent-pending technology, the skin care products are designed to adapt to the micro flora of the consumer’s skin, giving it a smoother and more even appearance. Clinical testing showed that up to 91 percent of customers who tried the products saw an increase in skin smoothness after 28 days, and up to 75 percent saw resurfacing after a single treatment.

“We’re known for everything from our spa offerings to our home care services to our lifestyle programs,” said Harrington. “We’re more lifestyle driven. You rarely see Elemis customers using one product because they utilize many of our collections for everyday needs, from cleansing, toning, exfoliating and antiaging to body care, dietary supplements and home wears.”

The company plans to expand its U.S. management roster, developing separate spa and retail teams to improve its distribution.