Le Métier de Beauté is on the fast track to growth, thanks to its launch later this week on QVC.
Industry sources estimate the luxury beauty brand generates about $20 million in annual retail sales, primarily from its brick-and-mortar business at Neiman Marcus. Le Métier is in all but five of Neiman’s doors, as well as Bergdorf Goodman. That number is set to increase in the brand’s first year on QVC, with industry sources projecting another $10 million in sales coming from the home shopping network alone.
The nine-year-old company has grown its business with a strong emphasis on brick-and-mortar strategy. Chief executive officer Richard Blanch told WWD that Le Métier has seen 100 percent same-store growth in its Neiman Marcus doors this year. Aside from Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, Le Métier grew internationally last year, launching in 26 Space NK doors in the U.K. It is also available on Net-a-porter.
Le Métier makes luxe, hybrid skin-care and makeup products that offer instant gratification and long-term results, and most customers — said Blanch — are luxury shoppers who have discovered the brand in their local Neiman Marcus stores and then stay loyal once they try it. Launching on QVC, said Blanch, is an opportunity to target the luxury consumer base that does not have access to a Neiman Marcus store.
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“We have an enormous amount of customers who travel to New York and specifically come to Bergdorf Goodman looking for our brand — it’s the same with Beverly Hills and other tourist destinations,” said Blanch. “We know these clients want expansion of our distribution and we’ve been careful about what retailers we work with — the retail environment right now is highly risk-averse and it’s difficult to find retailers to invest in high-growth brands like us.” He also said that most department store retailers want brands to launch online first. “That [to me] is saying we’re not going to invest in you and put you on the floor.”
But the sales floor has been integral to Le Métier’s success, said Blanch. The brand attracts mostly 35- to 65-year-old women, and many become repeat customers and have contributed to the brand’s “high-volume” sales growth. “Our price points are higher, our products are more complicated, but the clients want serious results. We sell highly active stuff,” said Blanch, who noted that all the brand’s makeup products are formulated with 92 to 95 percent skin-care ingredients. He also noted the brand sells makeup and skin care at a 50-50 rate. “We’re a destination brand. Our clients are like family and we work with them very closely and know their skin. We’re in a time of personalization and our customer and client is geared around that.”
Though QVC doesn’t offer a counter in a traditional sense, Blanch said the brand’s hybrid products that have been backed by clinical trials will appeal to the network’s customer. “The QVC client appreciates the two, three-in-one approach,” said Blanch, who also noted that having the brand appear on TV will hopefully drive more foot traffic into stores.
The QVC launch also provides opportunity to reach the Millennial customer, which Blanch said Le Métier has yet to really do in a significant way. “We’re not reaching the younger Millennial shopper and that’s solely [based on] where we’re distributed,” said Blanch. “Neiman Marcus says that 50 percent of [its] shoppers are Millennial, but we’re not seeing that client at our counters, we’re seeing women who know that their skin is transitioning and she wants to [get serious] about it.”
The brand is set to launch on QVC in late June with 12 stockkeeping units. Blanch expects the bestseller to be the Complexion Perfection Set, a kit exclusive to QVC containing the Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe, a tinted day treatment containing retinol and hyaluronic acid; the Precision Complete Coverage concealer, which has vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, and Le Métier’s concealer brush. The kit retails for $149.96. Blanch also noted he expects the brand’s $42 Precision Eyeliner, a perennial best-seller, to be another top seller on QVC.