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Shave Firm Shows Growth Is an Art

NEW YORK — The Art of Shaving is expanding not only its product reach, but also its store sites. <br><br>Beginning in February, the men’s shaving group will begin distributing its three-item hair care line outside the company’s four...

NEW YORK — The Art of Shaving is expanding not only its product reach, but also its store sites.

Beginning in February, the men’s shaving group will begin distributing its three-item hair care line outside the company’s four stores to its 300-plus retail base across the country. Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and selected Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom stores are some of the retail outlets slated to receive the shampoo, conditioner and hair gel formulas.

The shampoo is made with rosemary essential oil to stimulate hair growth, apple cider vinegar to clear dandruff, and coconut oil and olive oil as a lathering agent, as opposed to sodium lauryl sulfate. Conditioner is based with rosemary essential oil, as well as castor oil, jojoba, olive oil, soy protein and horsetail extract. The Hair Gel is based with bergamot essential oil, and uses wood cellulose, as opposed to polymers, to create a medium-style hold. Each of the hair care products retail for $18.

The three items are expected to generate approximately $500,000 in retail sales for the first year the line is in full distribution.

Art of Shaving is also opening a new location in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino shopping district, currently under construction. The deal marks Art of Shaving’s first license of its retail format — Mandalay Bay will own and operate the store. Other stores expected to operate in the shopping area include Fendi, Nike Golf and Louis Vuitton.

The shop will measure 1,400 square feet — the average Art of Shaving store is 900 square feet. The store will offer four service chairs, compared with the usual two, and approximately 900 square feet will be dedicated to retail space.

Growing the licensing business is something company owner Eric Malka will consider in the future.

“We have had 30 requests over the last 24 months [for a licensing deal]. But this is not something that we will sell like a can of tuna,” Malka said, adding that he’s considering future sites in Spain, Mexico and Japan. “We are moving slowly because we want to protect the image of the brand and the concept. That’s our biggest challenge.”

Art of Shaving, which expects to reach between $8 million and $10 million in sales during the year, plans to expand its reach to 400 stores around the world in 2003. At the end of 2002, the company tapped Europe and entered Harrods and Harvey Nichols, as well as specialty stores in Italy.