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Bobbi Brown and Belk Build a Studio…

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has partnered with Belk to open a freestanding store concept, called The Studio...

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics has partnered with Belk to open a freestanding store concept, called The Studio, which is to be operated by the retailer, a first for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned brand.

The space, which is located in Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, N.C., is set to open May 8 and is modeled after Brown’s freestanding store, also called The Studio, in her hometown of Montclair, N.J.

The 415-square-foot shop in North Carolina, which is located on the opposite end of the mall from Belk, will have storefront signage containing the Bobbi Brown name along with Belk, reading “Bobbi Brown @ Belk.”

“We saw this as a great opportunity, since Belk understands our brand and the way we work — along with the quality of staff we need — and has worked carefully on building our brand within Belk doors,” said Maureen Case, president of Bobbi Brown.

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“This is a freestanding door-sharing concept — sharing the costs, but having our retailer run it for us,” added Case. “Sometimes, our business might be confined in department stores because of space and logistics. This allows us to fully exploit opportunities to give our customer individualized services and [for customers to] experience Bobbi Brown in a different way based on our personal services.”

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Decorated with Forties antique chandeliers and handcrafted wooden tables, the store offers services like Bridal Beauty and Beauty 101 makeup lessons, in addition to special events such as Makeup Parties. In addition to offering customized makeup applications by Brown’s makeup artists, The Studio will offer a curb-side pickup service.

The company is actively searching for freestanding stores within the U.S., Case noted. She added that Bobbi Brown is available in 340 points of sale, including 28 Belk stores. In comparison, distribution of other department store cosmetics lines can range from 600 to 2,300 doors. Bobbi Brown is in discussions with Belk to roll out additional freestanding formats, said Case. The brand has three freestanding stores in Hong Kong and two in Malaysia. It is opening another in Bahrain.

“We feel that since service is so important to us, our translation of the Bobbi Brown experience in our freestanding doors is going to be one that drives the brand forward,” said Case.

According to industry sources, the new Bobbi Brown-Belk freestanding store is expected to generate more than $500,000 within its first year.

Future plans for the Bobbi Brown product assortment include eye shadow and blush customizable compacts. Designed to be custom-filled with any combination of eye shadow, shimmer wash eye shadow or blush, the palettes will be available in three-, four- and six-pan sizes.

With the launch of the compact, the company is rolling out 19 new eye shadow shades and seven new blushes.

For fall, the company has plans to take the palettes beyond eyes and cheeks by expanding into items for the lips and face, as well as concealer. While empty palettes will retail for $10, the eye shadows sell for $20 and the blushes for $22.
— Michelle Edgar

Inter Parfums Sales Leap

First-quarter sales at New York-based Inter Parfums Inc., parent of Paris-based Inter Parfums SA, jumped 45 percent to $123.2 million, from $85.1 million in the same period a year ago, the company said Friday.

At comparable foreign exchange rates, sales for the quarter, which ended March 31, were up 35 percent.

The firm’s European operations drove sales, with revenues of $110.6 million there, a 46 percent increase year-over-year. Jean Madar, chairman and chief executive officer of Inter Parfums, noted Burberry’s The Beat performed especially well and was responsible for “most of the gain.”

First-quarter sales in the U.S. increased 31 percent to $12.6 million from $9.5 million a year ago on strength in Inter Parfum’s specialty retail business.