Kiehl’s Third Avenue flagship in Manhattan, which opened in 1851, has just completed a 21st-century overhaul.
Still in its original space at 109 Third Avenue, the 1,560-square-foot store now sports a new gifting counter with elaborate carved detail, an extensive assortment of products that will be sold only in that door and an elaborate windowed time line, among other changes.
“This store is our Graceland — the ultimate Kiehl’s store,” said Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl’s USA, noting that the store also had some overhauling done during a 2003 effort. “We wanted people to leave here with special merchandise and a feeling that they’d been on a journey with us.”
The gifting station was intended to appear as though it could have been installed in the early 1900s — with a surprising twist: the wood laser-engraved design is of an elaborate skull. “We got the idea from Mr. Bones, the teaching skeleton which Aaron Morse, the second-generation Morse family member who ran Kiehl’s beginning in the Sixties,” said Salgardo, adding that Morse’s original skeleton is in the glassed-in time-line display. “He was extremely passionate about education, and often used the skeleton and other scientific equipment to explain things to his customers. It made perfect sense to us to incorporate that important motif into the gifting counter, too.”
At the gifting counter, consumers can put together personalized gifts — which are then further customized with boxes, tissue paper, shopping bags and all-white potpourri, all exclusive to the Third Avenue store. Morse’s love of flying has been reinforced with a 40 percent scale reproduction of a Pitts S 2A biplane Morse owned; even his extensive motorcycle collection — including a 1936 model originally owned by Clark Gable — has been incorporated into the store’s overhauled design. As well, the original 1851 store fixtures have been restored, and the exterior pharmacy sign has been re-created.
Another section of the store showcases a host of flagship-only products. They include a lip balm with a sterling silver cap designed by Lori Leven of New York Adorned, $90; a bathrobe with a white embroidered Kiehl’s logo, $95; a range of hair tools that range from a Pocket Spike for $16.50 to a Hair Groomers Hair Brush, $45, and even baby onesies for the littlest Kiehl’s fans, $20. If consumers buy the $40 flagship tote, they receive 5 percent off their purchases when they shop with it.
Most of all, Salgardo wants the Third Avenue store to retain its local pharmacy feel. “We’ve been here for 158 years, through the Great Depression,” he said. “We want people to feel like we’re their neighborhood store.” To that end, the store even holds monthly pet-adoption events, he said.
While Salgardo refused to discuss sales figures, industry sources estimated the Third Avenue store does upwards of $9 million in retail sales yearly.
The overhauled store also includes limited editions of the brand’s popular Superbly Restorative Argan Body lotion, with packaging designed by Erykah Badu, Adrien Grenier, Kelly Slater and Parsons The New School for Design students, $55 for 16 oz. All profits from the limited edition version of the lotions, which will hit counters on April 22, will be donated to Waterkeeper.
Salgardo also showed off the brand’s new Marvelous Mineral Mascara, which has just hit counters. “Acacia gum is used to thicken the lashes and keep the color from flaking, while minerals provide the color. It also includes aloe vera, jojoba oil and vitamin E, to stay true to our treatment roots.” Available in black and black-brown, the mascara retails for $16.50. Salgardo declined to discuss sales projections for the mascara, although industry sources estimated it could do $3 million to $5 million in the U.S. in its first year on counter.
In addition to its 33 freestanding stores in the U.S., Kiehl’s is also sold in about 200 U.S. specialty stores.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)