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Verb to Launch in Urban Outfitters, Readies for International Growth

The Millennial-minded professional hair brand is expanding its retail presence.

Verb is expanding its reach.

The professional hair brand has until now stuck to distribution in salons and Sephora in North America, but in the next few weeks it will enter Urban Outfitters Inc., and will expand internationally later this year.

Founded in a hair salon in Austin, Tex., Verb’s hip packaging, on-trend formulas and moderate pricing — all full-size products retail for $14 — are targeted at Millennials and Gen Z.

An assortment of 15 stockkeeping units are set to roll out in 50 Urban Outfitters stores starting next week, with an emphasis on $7 travel-size items so shoppers can sample the brand.

“The Urban girl or guy is very on-the-go and might not be actively searching out beauty,” said Claire Moses, director of marketing for Verb, of the decision to stock primarily travel-size items.

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“We’re focusing on the impulse purchase other than someone coming into the store to specifically look for shampoo and conditioner,” said Moses. “They’re likely less about investing in a brand right off the bat — [these are] people who have traditionally been buying hair in the mass market, but are wanting to try something new.”

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Moses expects some of the more trend-driven items to perform the best at Urban Outfitters. “It’s definitely an assortment focused on a younger crowd — think sea spray, dry shampoos and oils,” said Moses.

One of the brand’s best-selling items is Sea Spray, a salt spray designed to create texture. In May, it is launching three more items in the Sea franchise — a shampoo, conditioner and texture cream — and all will be available in Urban Outfitters as well. Verb is available in 6,000 salons and 250 Sephora doors across the U.S. and Canada, but later this year the brand will start an aggressive international push. Southeast Asia is the first stop, where Verb is to launch in Sephora this summer. There are plans for salon distribution in Australia, duty-free in Latin America is in the works for late 2017, as well as a potential deal in the U.K.