By  on October 12, 2007

Beauty retailers (and beauty buffs) take note: The new Korres flagship located on 110 Wooster Street in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood aims to make shopping the brand's hundreds of items easy enough that a bleary-eyed shopaholic can do it.

The 1,100-square-foot store, wedged between Costume National and Barneys Co-op, is chockablock with Korres Natural Products' best-selling items, such as its Guava Body Butter, Rice Protein Shampoo and Almond Meal Soft Natural Face Scrub. Korres founder Lena Philippou Korres added that what makes this store special is that it's the first to sell Korres' complete cosmetics line, a men's collection, an anticellulite range and several natural beauty products formulated for oily complexions. But in order to navigate it all, Korres uses vertical merchandising to the max, while also displaying several categories on square-shaped islands dotted throughout the center of the store.

Indeed, vertical merchandising presents the brand and its multitude of items in a simple way.

"If you put all of these things on three shelves it is a mess," said Philippou Korres.

Robert DeBaker, chief operating officer, Korres Natural Products USA, added that the displays present beauty in a "beautiful way, like art, that's why the displays are covered with canvas, like paintings, but they don't dumb it down" for the shopper.

Display units line the north and south walls of the store and house products from Korres' different categories. Placards atop and along each display announce the category, such as men's shaving, and then merchandises all of the items within that group in that shelving unit, from top to bottom. There are more than a dozen categories, including body milk, body water, hand care, body scrubs and face care. Flavors are also described on placards, with fig explained as "sweet, clean and sophisticated" and quince described as "fruity and spicy." Testers are available for each item in each display.

Several islands covered with graphics of ingredients that correspond with the products they hold are throughout the store. There's the cosmetics island, a gift sets island and one featuring face cream formulated with yogurt.

The new store was created by the company's creative director, Stavros Papayannis, and his Athens-based agency, Stage Design Office.To best mesh with the space's existing industrial architecture, the store's walls are covered with golden-colored Greek honey tins, the floors are wooden and white displays are covered in canvas — for a gallery effect.

"This is our first time developing a store identity in the U.S., not just corporate identity," said Philippou Korres.

The store is slated to open for business on Wednesday.

First-year sales are expected to reach and maybe even exceed $1 million, industry sources said, on par with the firm's top-volume stores.

Currently the company operates 12 stores worldwide, and will enter Paris, China, Istanbul, Madrid, Germany and Brooklyn, N.Y., by the end of the year.

Financing for its stores, including eight additional units slated for yearend, was raised earlier this year when in March, Korres, which is based in Athens, made its initial public offering on the Greek stock exchange. The company's stock opened at $10.21 at that time; it closed on Wednesday at $20.06.

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