NEW YORK — NaturaBrasil has set up shop in the U.S.The São Paulo-based Brazilian direct-sell beauty giant last week opened its first U.S. brick-and-mortar store at 240 Elizabeth Street here.The 960-square-foot space houses 85 stockkeeping units across the bath, body and hair categories, all of which feature hero ingredients indigenous to the Amazon, including cacao, maracuja, acai and castanha. Prices range from $10 for a bar soap to $50 for a body splash.The targeted assortment was plucked from Natura’s wide array of products, which include skin care, fragrance and baby, and the sku count is expected to increase to 120 in the next two years. An e-commerce site is set to launch in May.Natura’s U.S. expansion and the opening of a brick-and-mortar store are part of a larger strategy to increase multichannel sales over the next five years, as WWD reported in December. The company is set to open five stores in 2017.While Natura is one of the leading players in Brazil — the parent, Natura Cosméticos, tracked sales of $2.3 billion last year — it has reached a peak of sorts there in terms of its growth, hence the international expansion.“In Brazil, Natura is so big — it’s like Shiseido in Japan,” said Roger Schmid, innovation adviser and manager of Natura’s The Hub think tank, what the company calls its office here. “They know they can’t grow much more in Brazil, so they’re doing the rest of Latin America, and now is the right time to go into the U.S.”Schmid also noted that he believes the company’s commitment to sustainability — Natura works with local communities around Brazil to grow and harvest ingredients with minimal damage to the environment — will appeal to the U.S. consumer.“We’re part of the big core — Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Ben & Jerry’s — that are doing good,” said Schmid.There are no confirmed plans, but Schmid said a second brick-and-mortar store in a high-traffic U.S. mall is potentially in Natura's future.
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