Byline: Jenny B. Fine

NEW YORK — Origins Natural Resources is spreading its roots here. The company has converted its counter in Macy’s Herald Square flagship into a store-within-a-store, resulting in almost twice as much selling space.
The new Origins shop, part of a general overhaul of Macy’s cosmetics and fragrance department, is the brand’s second such space in New York — Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship also has one.
Overall, about 90 of Origins’ 280 department store doors in the U.S. are equipped with store-within-a-store setups. That number is expected to increase to 106 by the end of the year, with 75 more planned for 1997.
“This concept is the most dynamic way to present the brand, and we are anxious to convert every major door into this kind of presentation,” said William Lauder, president of Origins, a division of the Estee Lauder Cos.
“It differentiates Origins in consumers’ minds and makes the brand more recognizable, and sales are at least double and often more than that” after a conversion, he added.
Although Lauder declined to comment, industry sources indicate the new 350-square-foot space in Macy’s is expected to have a retail volume of at least $1 million in its first year. The Origins store-within-a-store in Bloomingdale’s, which also measures about 350 square feet, will reportedly have a similar volume.
In addition to its department store distribution, there are 22 freestanding Origins boutiques in the U.S., as well as the seven-month-old Origins Spa located in the Chelsea Piers Sports Complex here.
Like the firm’s boutiques, the new Macy’s space is constructed in an open-sell format. The back wall features shelves stocked with a wide array of products, including skin and body care, foundations and powders and the firm’s Sensory Therapy line of aromatherapy-based bath and body products, all with signs detailing product usage and prices.
Bushel baskets filled with a variety of items — from hair care to bath salts — are scattered around the area, while an oval-shaped island in the middle features the color cosmetics.
Previously, Origins had a bay in Macy’s that measured about 32 linear feet and carried around 300 stockkeeping units. The new area has about 350 sku’s, while the freestanding stores carry between 450 and 500 items.
“Origins has a lot of products that customers like to play with and touch, and I don’t think customers get to see their breadth of assortment when it’s a case line,” said Barbara Zinn Moore, vice president of cosmetics and fragrances at Macy’s.
She noted that the new setup makes it easier for customers to buy from several different product categories, adding, “We are expecting significant increases.”
In keeping with what it states is a policy of philanthropy, Origins will donate 10 percent of its retail sales at Macy’s from Oct. 29 through Nov. 12 to Scenic Hudson, a nonprofit organization that protects land in New York’s Hudson River area.