Korres and Studio BeautyMix have taken their partnership one step further: They moved in together.
The Greek-born beauty brand has cleared space for its new roommate — the Santa Monica, Calif.-based indie beauty retailer — in its Manhattan flagship, located at 110 Wooster Street, which also will serve as Studio BeautyMix’s first East Coast outpost. The store’s nameplate now reads Studio BeautyMix at Korres.
For Robin Coe-Hutshing, founder and creative director of Studio BeautyMix, the hybrid store gives her curated retail concept a foothold in Manhattan’s bustling SoHo neighborhood. For Korres, it offers relief from the sky-high rents associated with the neighborhood — Korres is two years into a 10-year lease. The move is intended to generate more foot traffic, and in turn boost productivity. Industry sources estimate the dual-retailer concept could boost sales by 40 percent, pushing store revenue toward the $1.25 million mark.
Other residents in the neighborhood include Space NK, Sephora and Bloomingdale’s SoHo, which stock a plethora of beauty brands. As these retailers have each proven, cohabitation is no longer frowned upon in beauty. After all, Space NK has set up shop in selected Bloomingdale’s doors, and Sephora has an outpost in a number of J.C. Penney locations.
Korres’ aim is to introduce itself to more consumers. “Korres is still not a household name,” said Robert DeBaker, chief executive officer of Korres North America Ltd. That may soon change. In September, the Greek beauty brand struck a licensing deal with Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Co., effective January 2011, that will give the consumer products giant full control of Korres-branded beauty products in North America. Korres operates one other store in the U.S. in Brooklyn, N.Y., which the company plans to shutter.
Korres, known for using active natural ingredients across its bath and body, hair and skin care and cosmetics products, and Studio BeautyMix already live under the same roof in the indie retailer’s 4,000-square-foot Santa Monica store, where the Greek brand has roughly a 300-square-foot display.
In the SoHo store, Korres will continue to oversee all operating functions of the store and remains the leaseholder, and Studio BeautyMix will give Korres a certain percentage of sales. Existing Korres sales associates will be trained to sell across all brands. An edited assortment from Studio BeautyMix now occupies about half of Korres’ 1,200-square-foot store.
Coe-Hutshing has filled the right side of the shared-store format with some 30 brands, including Stila, Duwop, Knock Out Cosmetics, GoSmile and Hamadi Organics. The assortment also features Coe-Hutshing’s homegrown brands, including Burn candles, a full Mémoire Liquide Bespoke Perfumery and the newly introduced library of ready-to-wear scents called Mémoire Liquide Reserve Edition Books, each priced at $95. Each of the five fragrances is assigned a volume number and housed in keepsake book.
In February, Korres plans to introduce the company’s first fragrance blends to the U.S. for $45 each. Coincidentally, the artwork on the three fragrance boxes is inspired by a 200-year-old homeopathic textbook belonging to George Korres, the company’s owner.
At the front-right corner of the store is a display of Coe-Hutshing’s Studio Secrets, which spotlights hard-to-find beauty items deemed cult favorites, including Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream, Brave Soldier Code Blue Cooling Aftershave & Afterwaxing Gel, Air Repair Skincare and RevitaLash Eyelash Conditioner.
The left wall of the store is lined with Korres product, ranging from Wild Rose 24-hour moisturizing cream to Cherry Oil Lip Gloss, displayed on the brand’s signature white shelving units. A table at the front of the store displays Korres’ Go Pink collection. Product sales raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Referring to the hybrid store, Coe-Hutshing said, “This is a single entity at this point. It’s two separate businesses, but we have merged into a cooperative.”
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