Iman and Jay Manuel are bringing Jay Manuel Beauty to brick-and-mortar retail.
But instead of inking a contract with a department store or specialty retailer like Sephora or Ulta Beauty, the supermodel and makeup artist have linked with Simon on a series of permanent retail concepts for the makeup line — called the Jay Manuel Beauty Retail Experience — that will be stationed within busy common areas inside Simon shopping centers.
The first location will open on Nov. 16 at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, N.Y. Several more locations are slated to roll out to other Simon properties next year. The spaces are 20 feet by 20 feet and will carry the entire Jay Manuel Beauty product assortment.
For the three-year-old beauty brand, creating a high-touch and interactive retail experience for the consumer was paramount. The spaces are split into two sections — the “Discover You” side and a “Pro” side.
The Discover You spaces are equipped with touch screens on which shoppers can access the brand’s app, which offers free virtual services like shade-matching, color-finding and virtual try-ons. The Pro section is staffed with professional makeup artists who can walk consumers on how to use the products or create a look. Each space is anchored by two monolithic towers featuring screens that play brand videos and stream exclusive content — including FaceTimes with Jay Manuel himself.
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“It’s the new way to shop — an experience unlike I’ve seen in stores,” said Iman, whose Impala Inc. company includes Jay Manuel Beauty.
This is the first time Jay Manuel Beauty, which is sold in the U.S. on HSN, will be sold at brick-and-mortar retail. Citing the state of department store retail, Manuel and Iman were set on trying something different.
“A lot of department stores are suffering when it comes to foot traffic because there is no foot traffic,” said Iman. “Bloomingdale’s [in the Eighties] would do like a whole concept about India and they’d cover the whole store, and customers would go in to experience the transformation. That’s what’s missing [in brick-and-mortar] retail — the experience. That experience is what people used to go to department stores for, especially when it comes to beauty because beauty is an emotional purchase.”
Manuel, who shot to fame as the former creative director on “America’s Next Top Model,” envisioned a physical space that would allow consumers to fully immerse themselves in the brand. “It offers two very distinctive settings — you can go into the Discover You station, self-source and play, do you own makeup and try [products],” said Manuel. Or you can learn from a makeup artist. I wanted to bring the true customer service [in prestige] that has been lost as I’ve found as a consumer myself — you walk into some stores and artists go in and out and it doesn’t leave you feeling empowered. And on either side of the experience all this content is constantly running.”
“We were superexcited to establish a relationship with Jay, who is an extremely well-known star in his industry, but also an astute business operator who built a successful brand online and has been discerning and selective with whom he wants to build a retail alliance,” said Chidi Achara, chief creative officer at Simon. “This is part of an overall strategic focus for us — we’ve been vocal about driving innovation in some of the big-box spaces we’re taking back, we’re looking at innovative uses of space in our centers as we see the overall dynamics of shopping and retail evolving.”
Achara noted that placing retail spaces in the common area — for example, The Edit at Roosevelt Field, which will launch in mid-November — is a way to showcase emerging or new-to-the-U.S. brands that have not yet done physical retail.
No one involved with the Jay Manuel Beauty retail experience would comment on sales projections, but industry sources estimate the brand could do $1 million in retail sales in its first year with Simon.