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For Thea Green, founder and managing director of Nails Inc., her line of polish and treatment is as much of a fashion brand as it is a beauty collection.
This story first appeared in the June 13, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Nails Inc. is celebrating its 15th anniversary with new packaging and a number of other brand enhancements.
With sales increasing more than double digits in the U.S., Green told WWD she is looking to open a stand-alone New York nail bar called the Paint Worxshop late this fall.
“We want to come and do manis in the U.S., how we do it [in the U.K.],” said Green, who brought the brand to the U.S. in 2011. “We want the nail bar to anchor the brand and bring it alive. It’s hard to do that on a shelf. ”
The Nails Inc. business in the U.K. is 50 percent service. Green is also looking at launching another nail bar location in Hong Kong.
According to industry sources, international sales, which mostly come from the U.K., account for 71 percent, or $25 million, of Nails Inc.’s global turnover of $35 million. U.S. sales are $6 million and other areas, like Mexico and Southeast Asia, account for $4 million. Business in Southeast Asia is up by 46 percent from last year and collections are starting to roll out into other Asian territories. Sales in Mexico are up by 76 percent.
While Green declined to comment on sales figures, industry sources estimated that the Manhattan nail bar could do $2 million at retail.
Nails Inc. has also signed Alexa Chung as its global ambassador. She will team with the U.K.-based brand on a six-piece collection of fabric-inspired polishes ranging in textures from cashmere to lace.
Chung will continue to roll out collaborations with Nails Inc. and will launch a holiday gift set in October.
Meanwhile, Nails Inc. will embark on a technology that utilizes the power of kale. When Green visited Manhattan on holiday, she was enamored by a young girl who sent back her kale salad. That sighting inspired NailKale, a collection of nine shades infused with the leafy green.
“I always look to the health and food trend in America,” said Green. “Kale lends itself well to our ingredients and it contains vitamins A, C and K.”
Launching in August at Sephora and Sephora inside J.C. Penney, NailKale, $14, also includes the NailKale Superfood Base Coat, which contains aloe vera, lemon, ginseng, pomegranate and grape, and an illuminator called Bright Street that includes ingredients like vitamin E, seaweed extract and a patented complex of minerals. The formulation is said to boost the production of keratin for harder, stronger and healthier nails.
In June, Nails Inc. entered Ulta and in July, will add Nordstrom to its list of distributors.
“From the Leather Effect Nail Polish to the Gel Effect Plumping Top Coat, the brand’s range of polishes and treatments offer the latest trends,” said Janet Taake, chief merchandising officer at Ulta, adding, “We believe the line will be of great interest to our customer and have high expectations for the brand’s growth.”
With more than 200 stockkeeping units, the full Nails Inc. lineup includes nail lacquer, priced between $9.50 and $25 for nail kits, as well as treatment and accessories, priced between $10 and $18.