By  on October 9, 2009

It may be small, but it could be mighty: MAC Cosmetics’ newest jewelbox — a Grand Central Station store which opened in August — is on track to generate close to $2 million in retail sales in its first 12 months, said industry sources.

The 430-square-foot unit could serve as a model for a new generation of MAC stores in highly visible places with little space, noted James Gager, senior vice president and creative director of MAC. “Grand Central Station is iconic to New York, but also is the epicenter for all kinds of consumers,” said Gager. “We wanted to carry the entire line, to make it easy for consumers to get anything they wanted — but it required some very creative thinking. In these kinds of spaces, you have to rely on a little theater and magic.”

That’s where Sheila Choi, vice president of MAC global store design, came in. “Our first move was to mirror the entire store — the walls, the ceiling, the floor,” she said, noting that challenges included a very low ceiling — 7 feet — and a support beam running parallel to the store. And she admits, “the storage is a glorified closet, which is smaller than any of our North American retail stores.”

Next, LED lighting was installed — rather than the typical fluorescents, which allowed for more usable shelf space. Large tables packed with tester units comprise the center of the store; at any given time, there are five to six makeup artists on the floor to assist customers with new products and looks.

While neither Gager nor Choi would discuss dollar volumes, they said the store is already ahead of plan by nearly 18 percent.

Products populating the store include the brand’s newly launched Zoom Fast Black Lash mascara, priced at $13 and designed for a dramatic look; Dazzleglass Creme, a soft gloss with vitamin E and aloe which is available in 10 shades, each for $18; and the 17-stockkeeping-unit Styleblack lineup, which includes lipsticks, lip glosses, eye shadows, nail polishes, a shading brush and eyeliners ranging from $12 to $23. Also new: an 11-sku collection designed with designing duo Dean and Dan Caten. Prices range from $14 for lipstick to $34 for a makeup brush. All products were created by Gager and Jennifer Balbier, senior vice president of product development for MAC.

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