NEW YORK — Pharmaca, dubbed the Whole Foods of the pharmacy business, is proving natural beauty can be glamorous.
Pharmaca is one step ahead of traditional retailers such as Walgreens and Ulta, who are adding more natural and upscale beauty products. The opening of five new Natural Beauty Bars illustrates the Boulder, Colo.-based retailer’s commitment to natural beauty in an elegant setting with wood fixturing, LED lighting and professional services.
Premium brands stocked include Jane Iredale, Dr. Hauschka, Evanhealy and Suki. Professional salon hair brands include Peter Lamis, John Masters Organics and MOP (Modern Organic Products). The first Pharmaca store opened in 2000, merging traditional pharmacy with holistic medicine, making it the first integrated pharmacy in the U.S. “We have homeopaths, naturopathic and osteopathic doctors, herbalists, estheticians, nutritionists and ayurvedic practitioners,” said company president and chief executive officer Mark Panzer earlier this year. “That’s what differentiates us.”
Pharmaca’s approach is proving popular with Americans looking to take charge of their own health and buy more natural goods. Company sales at Pharmaca are estimated to exceed $112 million. While units range in size, the average 4,200-square-foot store pumps out $4 million in sales — roughly 4 percent in beauty, industry sources estimated.
With a goal of duplicating the apothecaries popular in Europe, Pharmaca upped its upscale natural items in 2012 with a beauty bar in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Based on the success of that test, Pharmaca unveiled five new beauty bars last month in Brentwood, Menlo Park, Novato and Oakland, Calif., and Portland, Ore.
The stores mix the premium products with salon-quality services with aestheticians. There are free skin-care and color-matching consultations. Spa services include lash application, full facial makeovers and consultations, eye makeup applications and consultation, and waxing for brows, lip, chin, forehead, sideburn or full-face. To promote the new services, Pharmaca offers a free mini-makeover with the purchase of $100 of cosmetics or facial-care products.
“The Natural Beauty Bars are a logical extension of our practitioners’ talents and expertise and a way to offer our customers a more convenient, comprehensive beauty experience,” said Pharmaca health and beauty category manager Tiana Ukleja. Ukleja said the Natural Beauty Bar concept meets rising customer demand for waxing and cosmetic services that use salon-quality skin care and makeup. “These are services that women used to have to go elsewhere for,” she said. “We hope that they’ll take advantage of being able to pick up their favorite beauty products and get a brow wax, all in one spot.”
Pharmaca’s size enables merchants to be nimble and act swiftly to test new brands. For example, Pharmaca was the first to bring organic facial-care line Primavera to the U.S. market. The company said that although fragrance is not a big push, its merchants are on the prowl for new skin-care and sun-care lines.
Despite holistic positioning, Pharmaca uses all the traditional marketing tools including back-to-school promotions, a loyalty program and an online presence. That’s no surprise since Panzer’s background is in traditional mass retailing with experience at Rite Aid, Osco Drug, American and Albertson’s.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye