NEW YORK — Red Carpet Manicure is opening a pop-up shop on the newly opened third floor of Henri Bendel’s New York flagship.
The shop, which will feature the full range of Red Carpet Manicure’s gel system, including nail treatments, 70 colors and a train kit priced at $99.99, will be open from Nov. 20 to Dec. 28.
Professional nail technicians will offer customers manicures, including nail art styles such as a special Henri Bendel design. Bendel’s is opening the floor, which features a café, in time for the holiday season.
Buoyed by success in European prestige store Harvey Nichols, Red Carpet hopes the presentation in the heavily trafficked area will helped educate consumers about the at-home gel process. At the same time, Bendel’s continues to flex its muscles as an incubator of new beauty brands.
“We saw success overseas at places like Harvey Nichols and John Lewis,” said Barry Shields, managing partner of Red Carpet Manicure, one of the pioneers of at-home gels systems. Harvey Nichols, he added, has doubled the space to the brand. Exposure on HSN has also built strong sales, he added. “We think we have a big clientele on the prestige side of the business.”
Red Carpet Manicure made its debut in stores such as Ulta, and remains a strong seller in the specialty chain. However, at-home gels are still looking to gain traction in self-service mass stores, where there are often no advisers to help explain the gel system. Also, buyers said the market was flooded with products with some leaving consumers disappointed.
With sales of nail colors slowing, Shields said consumers are looking for quality. “Customers aren’t as interested in buying a $1.99 bottle of polish, but they do see the value in getting a long-lasting gel manicure,” he said.
Bruce Kowalsky, also a managing partner at Red Carpet, said retailers are looking to push up gross margins in nail. “They want to raise the average price point, pulling back in promotional product, and that’s perfect for our product.”