NEW YORK — Amazon.com’s BeautyBar.com, a site for luxury beauty products, is in the final stages of lease negotiations for a 1,600-square-foot store at the Americana Manhasset in Manhasset, N.Y.
This story first appeared in the July 6, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We’re confident the partnership will move forward,” said Katina Mountanos, site leader for merchandising and marketing at BeautyBar. “We hope to be open by the end of the summer.”
Quidsi Inc., the parent of BeautyBar, also owns Diapers.com, an online store for baby care products, and Soap.com, a site for everyday essentials. Amazon.com purchased Quidsi last year for $500 million cash and the assumption of $45 million in debt. The Quidsi acquisition followed Amazon’s $1.2 billion takeover last year of Zappos.com, an online shoe retailer known for fast, affordable shipping and superior customer service.
The Americana unit will be BeautyBar’s first permanent store. BeautyBar.com, which bowed in November 2010, operated a concept store to test its retail strategy in Montclair, N.J., where the company is based.
“This is our first foray into building a store strategy for BeautyBar,” Mountanos said. “We’re not opposed to opening more stores in the future.”
The Americana store will offer about 75 high-end brands and two treatment rooms with aestheticians and makeup artists on staff. “We’re very into customer service on our site and we received the Stella Service Elite Rating,” Mountanos said. In addition to well-known brands such as Philosophy, Bliss and Dermalogica, BeautyBar sells niche brands like Malin + Goetz and hard-to-find lines such as Diego Della Palma, an Italian makeup collection.
Mountanos said BeautyBar is measuring its success by the brands it attracts to its Web site, including those previously reluctant to join a pure play e-commerce site. “Each brand has its own brand page and can post videos,” she said. “We don’t do any discounting on the site.”
Because consumers can’t touch and feel products online, every BeautyBar customer receives three free samples. “We’re building innovative tools and investigating licensing opportunities for other tools that will allow customers to try on makeup,” Mountanos said. “We’re really focused on sampling.”