NEW YORK — After a six-year absence, Prescriptives is headed back into Henri Bendel— albeit with a do-it-yourself twist.

The brand and the retailer will officially launch PxExpress by Prescriptives, a self-service counter, in November. The Bendel’s installation is the first time Prescriptives has done a primarily self-serve counter, said Terry Darland, senior vice president of sales for Prescriptives, although she added that two consultants will be assigned to the counter at launch.

Darland noted that the counter, tentatively slated to have a soft launch in late October, is planned as a 30-linear-foot, semicircular caseline in a self-contained bay near Laura Mercier’s floor space. Its centerpiece is a Colorprinting computer, which via a photo wand will help consumers find their color families in Prescriptives’ skin-tone matching system. Product towers, grouping eye, cheek and lip colors by Colorprinting categories, will be placed on the counter for consumers to select quickly. The brand’s skin care collection —?arranged in towers by skin type — also will be featured on the counter.

As well, the brand will work to do other concepts within PxExpress that fit into the "quick" category —?such aspremade sets and brush rolls, Darland said.

"This concept really works from a customer-need standpoint," said Ed Burstell, vice president and general merchandise manager of Bendel’s. "The productivity possibilities are amazing. This really enables consumers who want to come in and get out quickly to do so, yet there’s also a consultant nearby if they need advice. It really allows us to make the most efficient use of our stock dollars and floor space."

While none of the executives would talk numbers, industry sources estimated that the concept has the potential to do upward of $750,000 at retail at Bendel’s in its first year.

Bendel’s and Prescriptives are planning to formally launch the concept during Thanksgiving week and are planning an advertising campaign in Allure, New York magazine and the New York Times that will break in November, Darland said.

Other concepts are also in the works to showcase the new counter to consumers, noted Lucy Perdomo, executive director of sales for Prescriptives. Among them: direct mail pieces simulating EZ Passes and dedicated store windows at Bendel’s.While Bendel’s will be the first to have the new concept, it’s likely not going to be the last. "We think this has great potential for many of our smaller stores," said Darland, noting that the concept allows for high productivity with a lean staff. "By this time next year, I hope we’ll be rolling it out to as many as half of our 800 U.S. doors."

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