IT Cosmetics, one of the strongest selling of the new generation of indies, is amping up its retail firepower with plans to enter Sephora in September, while continuing to stoke its three-year-old business with Sephora’s archrival Ulta Beauty.
The move also signals another transformation. “We are launching a collection of pure play skin care for the first time,” said Jamie Kern Lima, chief executive officer and cofounder of the company.
IT Cosmetics has a core assortment of roughly 150 stockkeeping units, comprising a collection of color cosmetics and problem-solving color-infused treatment products. The company was established eight years ago with the launch of its original hero product Bye Bye Under Eye, an antiaging concealer. It made its debut on QVC two years later in 2010 and sold out in 10 minutes.
Lima said there have been two developments since the company was established. “Our Bye Bye franchise got really powerful during the last seven years,” she said, “and the biggest question asked by customers was ‘when are you going into skin care?’”
The first pure-play skin-care product, Confidence in a Cream, was launched in January as part of the core assortment and will be included in the Sephora collection.
In September, the company will be entering Sephora in the U.S and in Southeast Asia — Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. In the U.S., IT Cosmetics will be stocked in 100 doors of the perfumery chain in metropolitan centers. The Sephora assortment will consist of 33 sku’s, 12 are exclusives that will stay in the chain and the remaining 21 sku’s will be hero products taken out of the core assortment.
Of the 12 exclusives, nine are from the Bye Bye franchise. The Sephora collection will consist of skin-care and color-infused treatment products.
Outside of the U.S., the brand has already entered Sephora’s Australian stores in 2014 with the brand’s full color assortment of 125 sku’s.
While the company is establishing a beachhead at Sephora, IT Cosmetics will continue building its business with Ulta, where its assortment is carried in the chain’s more than 900 doors. The company occupies nine feet of merchandising space in the prestige section of those doors. In addition to its core line, IT Cosmetics also co-brands a brush collection, called It Brushes for Ulta.
Meanwhile, the line continues to be sold on QVC, where the company claims to be the number one selling makeup brand.
Company executives do not break out projections or sales results, but industry sources estimate that the company generated $300 million in retail sales in 2015 and is expected to hit $400 million in estimated retail sales for 2016. That 2016 increase is being generated across the entire company, not just by the Sephora venture.
The price range of the entire brand runs from $20 to $58 for Bye Bye Lines Serum.
A Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination, one of the Sephora bound products, is priced at $24.
The three exclusives going into Sephora that are not from the Bye Bye series consists of a CC+ Skin Perfecting Brush, priced $48; a Anti-Aging Armour, Super Smart Beauty Fluid, SPC 50, $38, and a Je Ne Sais Quoi Hydrating Lip Treatment, $24.