LONDON — Based in New Zealand and still under lockdown restrictions, Monday Haircare founder Jaimee Lupton has been signing international retail partners over Zoom and grappling with a global shipping crisis.
That hasn’t deterred the company, which expanded to the U.K. market last summer and sold almost 100,000 units in 60 days. It’s now on track to do 10 million pounds in sales in its first year of operating in Britain and planning to expand to more European markets in 2022. It has just landed in Ireland, while the Netherlands, Italy and Germany are set to follow in early 2022.
“There was a huge demand coming from the UK. on social media, and it was also a good testing ground for Europe,” said Lupton, adding that the brand’s global sales have reached 6 million units.
Despite the brand’s growing social media following — #Mondayhaircare has received over 100 million views on TikTok to date — Lupton has still not jumped on the direct-to-consumer train. Instead, she’s sticking to third-party retail distribution partnerships, just like she did in the brand’s home market in New Zealand, as well as Australia and the U.S.
In the U.K., the label is stocked on high-street supermarket Tesco; online retailer Beauty Bay; and is about to launch on Asos.
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“You really can’t compete with the reach and foot traffic they have as established names. It’s our goal to make luxury hair care more accessible and we’re able to do that with these retailers considering the distribution they offer. Despite our considerable social media presence, physical retail is still a lot of people’s entry point to the brand because of how our products stand out on the shelf. So that real estate is really important for the brand,” said Lupton, explaining that partnering with legacy retailers such as Tesco in the U.K. or Target in the U.S. is a win-win situation for both parties.
“We want to shake up the offering available in traditional retailers, so consumers can get a salon-quality product at a supermarket price and also leverage our cult following to bring new customers into those legacy retailers who are keen to connect with Gen Z and Millennials. A lot of established brands just weren’t innovating for that younger, beauty-savvy consumer in the mass space.”
When it first launched in New Zealand, Monday Haircare — with its sleek, pastel-pink bottles, organic formulation and mission to make luxury hair care more accessible — it surpassed its sales forecast 40 times, selling six months worth of stock in four weeks.
But even in more saturated masstige markets like the U.S. and U.K., momentum remains strong. The brand said it has shipped almost a million units to the U.K. to keep up with post-launch demand.
Part of that success is thanks to social media, where the company shares behind-the-scenes videos, educational content, and campaigns featuring local influencers — known as Monday Muses — who help spread the word. These are creatives with engaged social followings and interesting day jobs, such as personal shopper Bettina Looney, hair colorist Jenna Perry and hair stylist Patrick Wilson.
“For us it’s about finding a way to bring our physical retail and digital marketing strategies closer together. Because we can’t directly track conversion like an online retailer could, we have to think laterally about how to chart that conversion,” added Lupton.