When four friends started creating coffee body scrubs during their free time a few years ago, they had no idea that it would turn into a multimillion-dollar global brand.
Today, Frank Body sells to 147 counties, maintains warehouses in the U.K., the U.S., Australia and Canada and is said to be on track to do nearly $20 million in sales this year. And this week, the brand will make its entrée on to the U.S. retail scene, starting with Urban Outfitters. One hundred doors nationwide will sell three scrubs (Original Coffee Scrub, Coconut Coffee Scrub, Cacao Coffee Scrub) and a body balm that range in price from $16.95 to $24.95. This comes six weeks after entering Australian retailer Mecca Maxima, where Frank Body became the top-selling body brand in the first month.
The direct-to-consumer skin-care brand hailing from Australia started off as a side project for four friends in early 2013 — Alex Boffa, Jess Hatzis, Bree Johnson and Steve Rowley — but soon became a full-time job. Since it’s launch, Frank Body has amassed an Instagram following of 689,000 with a dedicated hashtag, #TheFrankEffect, which has over 50,000 mentions. The brand has also built a sizable U.S. consumer base. About a third of the brand’s overall sales come from the U.S. — the company’s largest market, according to Rowley, cofounder of Frank Body.
“Working with retailers in [the U.S.] is going to help us get brand awareness with people who may not love online shopping or who may not have come across us on social media. Growing through traditional retail in the U.S. is part of the brand growing up,” Rowley said.
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He noted that in addition to Urban Outfitters, the brand plans to soon roll out two to three more retail partnerships in the U.S. He explained that Urban was the first choice for a partner Stateside because their structure allowed them to be supportive, logistically, of a brand based in Australia. The retailer offers about a third of the collection, but will next year expand this to include the entire range.
“We have a lot more space to educate a consumer online. In retail, we have a very small amount of space to get the message across. That was something we needed to consider,” Rowley said.
To do this, retail-specific packaging was created that is different than the packaging that a product would come in in an order direct from FrankBody.com. There is more information, as well as a pastel-colored protective envelope to “give it a point of difference on the shelf” said Johnson, cofounder of Frank Body.
FrankBody.com started selling its signature coffee body scrubs online in Australia in 2013 and in the U.S. six months later. The collection has expanded to include 12 products. Several more are on the way, including a brightening, moisturizing Glow Mask that will launch in late-January.
The team is scouting retail partnerships in the U.K. too, Rowley and Johnson added. They noted that they are looking at a group of three to four smaller retailers that are brand appropriate and allow for a staggered launch approach early next year.