By  on October 5, 2007

NEW YORK — Nicky Kinnaird, a queen of the British niche beauty retailers, has gained a foothold in the U.S. in June and now plans to open three more Space NK boutiques in the Tristate area.

During a recent interview here, Kinnaird said she plans on opening freestanding stores in the Short Hills Mall in New Jersey, perhaps by Oct. 24; another on Columbus Avenue, between 69th and 70th Streets, on New York's Upper West Side in mid-November, and a third at 24 Harwood Court in downtown Scarsdale, N.Y., at the end of November. Of the three new stores, the Columbus Avenue unit will measure 1,000 square feet, while the other two will be 1,500 square feet each.

Space NK opened its first U.S. store at 99 Greene Street in New York's SoHo neighborhood on June 14, and its look undoubtedly will be echoed through new stores being added.

"SoHo has been really good," Kinnaird said, without mentioning specific numbers. "People are recognizing that we are offering a real difference." On the chain's home turf in the U.K., there are nearly 60 Space NK stores operating, up from 46 units a year ago. According to estimates by industry sources, some of the British stores boast a sales productivity approaching $2,000 per square foot.

The Greene Street store contains a total of 3,000 square feet, with slightly less than 2,000 square feet devoted to selling space. Kinnaird said the store's bestsellers are Eve Lom and Space NK signature products as well as some of the organic treatment lines that the store carries on an exclusive basis. The store also has two treatment rooms, which are expected to go into operation soon and offer Eve Lom facials.

She noted that the store is drawing from a considerable expatriate population in SoHo, a large tourist stream and a lot of Americans who regularly travel. "A lot of people are discovering Space NK for the first time," she said.

The Space NK approach involves providing an intimate boutique ambience with a highly specialized, tightly edited assortment aimed at providing problem-solving products. Some Space NK units measure a mere 500 square feet.

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