A month into her new partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue, Lauren Remington Platt’s is getting traction and winning customers with a new addition to her Vênsette in-home beauty concierge service.
On April 1, Vênsette broadened its in-home makeup and hair styling service to include selling beauty products that are merchandised on a custom-landing page of the Saks Fifth Avenue Web site. The move also opened the door for Vênsette to begin growing nationality, with operations now in four cities on both coasts.
For the past five years, Vênsette has been delivering professional hair, makeup and nail services to the doorsteps of time-crunched, mostly young career women, who might have spent their day in meetings then have to show up at a work-related evening function, with no time in between.
The key to the service, which Platt often stresses, is that the booking service is digitally powered, like Uber.
The new element is that during an appointment, a customer can ask the hair or makeup artist to order products from a 200-item selection of a broad variety of brands and product categories, and they also can be ordered after the appointment.
Working with makeup artists, Remington Platt picked out an array of skin care, makeup, color cosmetics and hair care from the Sak’s assortment and merchandises the curated result as Vênsette picks on the store’s Web site.
According to sources, the Vênsette organization now expects a 30 percent gain in sales for the quarter, thanks to the Saks deal.
In addition, there has been a 72 percent jump in web traffic from new users since the hookup was made on April 1 and a 48 percent spike in app usage from new customers.
Remington Platt sees the new service as “digitizing the department store counter experience.”
Under the usual drill, if a customer goes into a department store for a free makeover, she will end up buying product there from that brand, and only that brand.
Remington Platt asserts that the customer will get an unbiased opinion from the Vênsette technician. “With Vênsette, you have this ability to shop across multiple platforms with a professional artist and not a salesperson,” she said.
Referring to the partnership with Saks, Remington Platt said.
“They understand if a woman is buying the evening dress or buying her wedding dress she isn’t going to come in and have her makeup done on the Saks floor. She’s a rush, she is going somewhere. [They] understand the value of bringing the service into the home and speaking to that customer. We are complimentary to retailers. Ultimately Vênsette is a third distribution platform,” she said.
Tracy Margolies, Saks chief merchant, maintains that the Vênsette concept “perfectly aligns with the customer and merchandise edit we work to deliver every day. This partnership enhances the offering to both of our customers.”
Remington Platt recently underscored the importance of the deal with a celebratory dinner at La Grenouille for about 30 people in midtown Manhattan. The event was cohosted by Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director at Saks.
The Saks partnership allows Vênsette to begin rolling out nationally. The in-home service now operates in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami with a total of 250 artists.
And going national also expands the hair and makeup services market that Vênsette operates in. Remington Platt declined to discuss numbers, but industry sources estimate that Vênsette was previously competing in a market valued at $11 billion. Now with a national scope possible, the market has grown to $90 billion.
Pricing ranges from $100 for hair styling, including a blowout; $150 for a makeup application; $200 for hair and makeup together, and $300 for a VIP treatment for a high-profile affair.
The Saks alliance represents what Remington Platt calls “the third step in my vision. It was never about hair and makeup to your door. It’s a much bigger conversation, ultimately for me it’s about [sending] a Trojan Horse into a woman’s home, gaining a consumer’s trust and eventually adding different revenue streams. The Saks partnership I think will very much prove out the e-commerce component. It will be interesting to show how technology and in-home services can really marry and be beneficial.”
Remington Platt also has been exploring those other streams, such as the B2B business she founded, catering to corporations and selling group appointments.
She started up Vênsette Weddings, which does hair and makeup not only for brides, but also bride’s maids, family members and guests.