Inside L:A Bruket's store

PARIS — With the L:A Bruket and Horace boutiques’ recent openings, the Rue Vieille du Temple — in Paris’ bustling Marais neighborhood — is morphing into an ever larger magnet for beauty shoppers.

The Swedish organic cosmetics brand and French natural direct-to-consumer men’s grooming brand’s doors are a few steps from one other on the Right Bank street that is already home to the likes of Aesop and Rituals.

“It’s one of the most singular streets in Paris,” said Stanislas Le Bert, deputy general manager of L:A Bruket. Rue Vieille du Temple is not only imbued with centuries of history, but also draws a large French and international (when permitted) footfall.

While neither L:A Bruket nor Horace executives would discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate each boutique will generate well upward of 600,000 euros in its first 12 months, barring any unforeseen negative coronavirus-related developments.

Here, a look at the two new retail spaces.

L:A Bruket, 77 Rue Vieille du Temple

On July 28, L:A Bruket — the brand founded in 2009 by Monica Kylén and her husband Mats Johansson in the coastal town of Varberg, Sweden — opened its Rue Vieille du Temple boutique, the first embodiment of a new retail concept.

The 555-square-foot ground-floor selling space is divided into two areas, with the first focusing on products and the second, raised a bit higher, earmarked for workshops and other semi-private events.

Walk in and there’s a workbench inspired by the wooden Varberg bath houses and nodding to the métier of Kylén — a ceramist — with the irregular clay sink she crafted. The boutique also has hammered metal details, paying homage to the company’s domestic headquarters’ design.

L:A Bruket

L:A Bruket  Courtesy of Jack Johnstone/L:A Bruket

The natural, organic brand culls traditional elements from Sweden, then gives them a modern twist.

“Part of the brand is to have familiar yet unexpected solutions,” explained Le Bert.

Instead of using fresh algae, for instance, the Spa Bath Seaweed product contains dry algae for detoxifying and revitalizing skin.

“We worked with the third generation of seaweed harvesters near Varberg,” said Le Bert.

There’s a refillable candle with wax to be poured and a wick to be placed at home, and soap on a rope with not one being the same length.

“We just want to keep it simple,” said Claire Le Brusq-Dupoirier, marketing and communication manager at L:A Bruket. “The two founders really want one product, one function.”

At the sink, people can try a three- or five-product hand treatment.

The 160 non-gender-specific stockkeeping units are divided into face care, body care (the largest category), hair care (a rising segment, launched in April) and home products.

The company is spotlighting face care.

“I keep calling this ‘the silent-hero’ category,” said Le Bert. “It’s when you know everything is there, but you just need to shout it louder to make sure it connects with customers.”

Part of that strategy involves the Marais shop offering same-day delivery of free sample kits of product tailored to specific beauty needs.

Upcoming for L:A Bruket is a single-sheet mask imbued with 24 ml. of serum, which will be sold starting in September. Meanwhile, the Broccoli Seed Serum is flying off shelves, according to Le Bert.

The store’s debut came a few weeks after a freestanding L:A Bruket boutique opening in Berlin and following the debut of a location on Rue Saint-Sulpice, on Paris’ Left Bank, that began as a pop-up in late November.

Among future developments are other boutique and shop-in-shop openings, more refillable products and possibly further spa treatments, after dipping into the category at Hôtel Hortensias du Lac in southwest France.

Horace, 68 Rue Vieille du Temple

This Rue Vieille du Temple boutique is the first permanent brick-and-mortar location for Horace, which was cofounded in 2015 by Kim Mazzilli and Marc Briant-Terlet.

The 275-square-foot store, opened on June 3, is located close to the pop-up Horace operated, also in the Marais, in the beginning of this year.

Horace

Horace  Courtesy of Horace

“One of our ambitions is to make skin care for men accessible,” said Mazzilli. “It is in the brand values, and there are still people who need to have physical access to products.”

The light-infused store has white and rough-stone walls and floor. The streamlined merchandising units are of wood with white drawers.

Here, there’s the full array of Horace products, including for the shower, body, face, beard, shaving and hair. A central area is allocated to bestsellers or ephemeral offers.

Mazzilli said the goal isn’t to have hundreds of stores, but to open them when it makes sense in Horace’s quest for accessibility.

“It’s one of the channels of proximity,” he explained, adding more locations could be possible in France and also abroad. “The boutique is a good means of discovery.”

For Horace, apart from the first two weeks of confinement in France, its online sales have been up on-year.

Inside Horace

Inside Horace  Courtesy of Horace

Mazzilli noted a change in what sold best. Rather than fragrance, deodorant and hair care, masks and beard products “exploded.”

“After two months of not going out, it could finally be the occasion to grow a beard,” he said.

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