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Jurlique: From Down Under to San Francisco

Jurlique has brought a little bit of southern Australia to San Francisco's Fillmore Street, with the redesign of one of its top-grossing stores.

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Jurlique has brought a little bit of southern Australia to San Francisco’s Fillmore Street, with the redesign of one of its top-grossing stores.

The 1,300-square-foot unit, which reopened this week, features a decor echoing elements of the brand’s Australian homestead, where product ingredients are grown. One side of the store exudes the warmth of earth tones from reclaimed woods. This is a reference to the drying shed, where herbs are processed on the Australian farm, according to Eli Halliwell, president and chief executive officer of the company.

The glass design on another side of the store suggests a greenhouse, and a video wall was constructed to simulate the experience of looking into nature. “It’s like looking out a window at the farm,” Halliwell said. Also, an 11-foot communal table has been set up in the shop, “so people can sit and have a consultation, learn more and read books. It creates a sense of community. We found out in Australia that the design really works.”

The San Francisco store, located at 2136 Fillmore Street, is larger than the average Jurlique location. Halliwell said the company usually finds its “sweet spot” in stores measuring 700 to 1,000 square feet.

The extra space has allowed the company to add extra merchandising touches to the Fillmore location, which it has operated out of for five years. “It’s one of our top performers,” Halliwell said, declining to give specifics. Even though Halliwell did not break out sales, industry sources estimated that in the past, the Fillmore store did about $1 million in sales a year. And with the new design, volume could jump to $1.5 million or even $2 million annually.

Halliwell said the added space for merchandising touches gives the company an opportunity to better present the concepts of the brand’s biodynamic positioning.

Halliwell explained the biodynamic is the step beyond organic. While the organic designation largely denotes the practice of not using certain forbidden elements, like chemical fertilizer and pesticides, biodynamic stands for a code of practices, such as enhancing nutrients in the soil and farming in rhythm with the lunar cycle, that will help keep “a farm sustainable into perpetuity.”

Jurlique was founded in 1985 by a husband-and-wife team of Jurgen Klein, a chemist, and Ulrike Klein, a horticulturist. They parlayed their interest in organic growing into a mostly skin and body care line that includes 140 products and 240 stockkeeping units. Price points range from $20 to $140. The line was completely repackaged earlier this fall. It was relaunched in the U.S. in the end of September, in Australia in October and Asia in Nov­ember.

The repackaging is expected to give the overall business a boost. Industry sources estimated the volume could jump by 10 percent, thanks to the revamping, on a global base approaching $100 million in ex-factory sales, which is calculated below wholesale.

Jurlique boasts 60 locations around the world, 25 of those directly owned by the company. A total of 14 are in Australia and another 11 are located in the U.S. Halliwell said it is a common practice to “refresh” stores by adding new merchandising elements to existing structures. The next new store to open is slated for next week in Melbourne. It measures 1,100 square feet and is located on High Street in the Armadale neighborhood.

In addition to freestanding stores, Jurlique is also distributed through different retail channels. In the U.S., the company does business through nearly 300 spas. The Australian distribution includes department stores like David Jones and Myer, plus pharmacies. Jurlique is also sold through stores in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore. The brand is distributed by Space NK in the U.K. and the U.S.

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