LOS ANGELES — Eyebrow queen Anastasia Soare is conquering new retail territory and domestically, Nordstrom is the target.
The retailer has stocked its nearly 100 stores with Anastasia brow products to satisfy skyrocketing demand after Soare gave Oprah Winfrey an "instant facelift" during an episode of Winfrey's TV show that aired for a second time on Dec. 27. Prior to December, the products — the most popular are a $65 five-piece brow kit and $28 tweezers — were available in only around half of Nordstrom's units.
"We have had other products that have been on Oprah, and it will be crazy for a week or two, but for her [Soare], it keeps on coming," said Jennifer Kovacs, national market buyer for designer brands at Nordstrom. "It was more than just an interest; it was a bombardment."
Anastasia brow bars, where Nordstrom customers at 65 stores now pay $25 to $35 for brow styling, are going into 20 more doors by fall, and the ultimate goal is to have bars throughout the chain. Depending on the needs and sizes of the locations, Nordstrom features either an on-the-floor brow bar where aestheticians handle eyebrows in the beauty retailing area or a set-aside private Anastasia brow studio. There are about 40 Anastasia products meant for department stores.
Soare credited Nordstrom, where brow bars entered in 2000, with realizing that eyebrow services spark repeat business. "You bring the client back every three weeks," she said. "I don't know a woman who walks through the aisles of a cosmetics department who isn't going to grab another lipstick. Nordstrom understood that concept."
Introducing the brow bars to Nordstrom customers, though, has had some challenges. Kovacs and Peggy Moore, Nordstrom's national merchandise manager for cosmetics, explained that requirements for eyebrow aestheticians vary from state to state — the materials in the flooring and the construction of the chairs are factors, too — and complications in bringing the stores up to code slowed the bars' spread.
Before eyebrow aestheticians can shape clients' arches, they have to undergo Anastasia's training, even though the aestheticians are employed by Nordstrom. Kovacs said the initial training runs three full days, and there are monthly follow-ups by members of Anastasia's team who jump from store to store. Soare reported that about 60 aestheticians at Nordstrom have been trained so far.
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