By  on August 24, 2007

NEW YORK — Men's grooming brand eShave has opened its first store here — and the 11-year-old firm has set its sights on several more store openings in New York before expanding its retail concept to other U.S. cities.

"We're planning to open 10 stores in the next five years," founder Danielle Malka said during an interview at the new location last week. She added she would like to open four stores here before expanding outside Gotham.

After scouting locations for about a year, Malka opened the niche brand's inaugural store, a 300-square-foot space at 993B First Ave., three weeks ago. The space formerly housed a luxury watch retailer.

"I had the design of the store planned nine months ago," she noted. "We found a space that matched the design."

The cozy eShave store features a minimalist, white motif, with shelves, a table and cabinets displaying the brand's full assortment of 100-plus products. "We kept the decor to a minimum so the product would pop," said Malka.

She said of the store: "It will allow us to bring out product that's been waiting in [development]. I have a couple of things in mind I've been wanting to do forever, so with the store, we're going to be able to do these kinds of things." She said she plans to add face cleanser to the eShave assortment in the near future, as well as foot cream and manicure and pedicure kits.

EShave markets shaving creams, aftershaves, pre-shave oils and shave soaps, and its white tea shaving cream is its bestseller. The brand also features razor handles, stands and brushes.

Prices range from $13 for a 2-oz. shaving cream to $28 for a shave soap. Brushes go for $55, $90 and $140, while razor handles go for $60 and $85. More upscale shave sets, which include a brush, stand and razor handle, run between $190 and $350.

EShave's wholesale business includes distribution in 15 countries. It is carried in about 300 to 350 doors, chiefly at boutiques and spas, including Hyatt spas and at Manhattan's Core Club and Nickel Spa.Malka described the eShave store's clientele as a local mix of "older people" from Sutton Place and "a lot of young couples with children. It has a neighborhood feel." She said she believes the store could generate $125,000 in sales through December.

Additionally, Malka noted, she anticipates opening the brand's second store in Greenwich Village in the spring.

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