Christian Dior’s beauty business returned to Bergdorf Goodman this week with a glamorous new counter, after an absence of over a decade.
This story first appeared in the September 7, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Pamela Baxter, president and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Inc. and president and ceo of LVMH Perfumes and Cosmetics North America, pointed out that the addition of the new counter is as much an exercise in providing a missing piece of a loop as well as coming home. “We have a big Dior business in Bergdorf’s,” she said, ticking off ready-to-wear, handbags and accessories. “But [the Bergdorf’s customers] couldn’t buy beauty. For us, it’s a completion.”
The counter, located on Bergdorf’s lower beauty level, is in the shape of a bay measuring 470 square feet. The back wall is filled with 16 monitors of a video installation designed by Yoram, the same artist who designed the electronic wall in Dior’s 57th Street couture boutique. The upscale nature of the installation’s design is highlighted by materials made especially for Bergdorf’s, including silver woven fabrics, translucent silk mesh embedded in glass, faceted glass tiles and glass etched with neoclassical French patterns.
One wall is dominated by the 13 eaux de parfum of Dior’s La Collection Privée. The artisanal fragrance collection, which was launched over the last two years, sports luxury price points. The 125-ml. bottle retails for $155 and 250-ml. bottle is priced at $230. The luxury presentation is rounded out with a color cosmetics and skin care. The treatment line, called L’Or de Vie, has very exclusive distribution with only 100 doors in the U.S. The skin care line is upscale but reachable in its price points. A serum is priced at $395 and a rechargeable refill at $365. The face cream retails for $195.
A treatment room is located to the rear of the installation for facials. Makeup artist Ricky Wilson made an appearance on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Pat Saxby, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics and fragrances at Bergdorf Goodman, said the store’s strength is in high-end treatment. But the addition of Dior into the assortment will give Bergdorf’s a powerful weapon. “This will give us an edge in treatment and color,” she said, adding that it truly will provide strength in makeup. “We expect it to be a top-selling resource,” she added.
Bergdorf and Dior executives declined to break out numbers, but industry sources estimate the new counter could generate $1 million in retail sales in the first year in operation.
Baxter underscored the importance of Dior’s reentry into the store: “Bergdorf Goodman is at the top of the pyramid in specialty stores in the U.S.”