FEKKAI: BRANCHING OUT

Byline: Alev Aktar

NEW YORK — Hairdresser Frederic Fekkai is taking his beauty products — and his Gallic charm — on the road.
This week, the first three Fekkai shops-in-shops carrying his complete product line opened at the Neiman Marcus stores in Dallas, Houston and Beverly Hills.
On Wednesday, registers start ringing at the 150-square-foot Saks Fifth Avenue shop-in-shop in New York. And in November, the new Fekkai salon and boutique in Beverly Hills opens its doors.
The in-store boutiques carry hair care, makeup, treatment, and personal and home fragrances. As of mid-November, the units will also stock Fekkai’s new collection of hair brushes and combs. Next spring, a range of signature eyewear — manufactured under license by Alain Mikli — arrives in stores, followed in the fall by hair accessories, scarves and handbags.
As reported, sources estimate that each site will generate between $1 million and $2 million annually at retail. The New York flagship salon, called Frederic Fekkai Beaute de Provence, reportedly racks up about $2 million at retail.
Michelle W. Taylor, senior vice president and general manager of Frederic Fekkai Beaute, declined to comment on the sales figures but noted that each store will be the exclusive Fekkai vendor in each market for a minimum of two years.
“I would rather do more volume in fewer places and really be able to work with a [retail] partner,” she explained.
She added that an additional five shop-in-shops are scheduled to open next year in specialty stores, as well as one or two freestanding stores in major cities. There are also more products in the pipeline: gift and home collections.
Promotional efforts include co-op print advertising and direct mail initiatives, both of which are starting now. Fekkai is also scheduled to make appearances at the stores, where he will hold “total beauty consultations” with customers and will also advise them on the appropriate brush for their hair.
Six brushes make up the line: three round brushes with olive-wood handles and boar bristles; a round brush with a vented metal body and nylon bristles, and two plastic tortoise flat brushes (regular and travel size) with a mix of boar bristles and plastic picots.
Two combs made of plastic tortoise round out the line.
Prices range from $20 for the travel comb to $75 for the classic flat brush.
“The brushes are over-the-top magnificent,” enthused Taylor. “Frederic spent a good six to nine months evaluating all the shapes in his salon.”
Sources estimate Frederic Fekkai Beaute, a joint venture between Fekkai and Chanel Inc., will generate at least $20 million in sales next year.

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