STILA GIRL SETS UP SHOP
Byline: Julie Naughton
NEW YORK — The Stila girl is on the move.
The brand, currently in about 200 doors, is kicking off an increased distribution strategy April 26, with a new store concept launching in Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship here. The new store-in-store marks the first time that Stila products will be available in Bloomingdale’s.
“We’re in a position today to expand our distribution because of the commitment our first partners — including Barneys New York, Nordstrom, Sephora and Saks Fifth Avenue — made to the brand,” said Claudia Poccia, vice president of sales, education and global artistry for Stila. “Now, we’re in a position to move to the next part of our growth strategy.”
While Stila is traditionally a specialty store brand, the team sees opportunity for slowly expanding to targeted department stores. Or, as founder Jeanine Lobell puts it: “We want to remain exclusive, but you have to be available.”
“In terms of overall distribution strategy, we’re looking at markets on an individual basis and examining where demand exceeds our current capacity with existing retail partners,” said Phebe Farrow Port, vice president and general manager of Stila. “This strategy allows us to maximize our potential in markets that are largely untapped.”
The first of these markets is the New York metropolitan area. Six East Coast Bloomingdale’s stores will get the new store concept this year: the 59th Street store, Roosevelt Field, White Plains, Bridgewater, Willowbrook and Chestnut Hill.
While neither Poccia or Port would say what kinds of numbers the stores were expected to do, industry sources estimated that the six Bloomingdale’s stores could add at least $3 million at retail to Stila’s numbers in their first year.
Said Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale’s: “We are confident our customer’s response will be enthusiastic when we add the excitement of the Stila brand to our 59th Street cosmetic assortment, as well as other Bloomingdale’s locations later this spring.”
The next market on the drawing board is Boston, where Stila will enter Filene’s in August, and Houston, with Foley’s, is also slated for this fall.
Still, it won’t be a rush to market. “Bloomingdale’s, Filene’s and Foley’s are our first new retail partners in about two years,” said Poccia. “We want to make a real commitment to a market before we move on to another.” Within the first year, that will mean 20 new doors or less, said Port.
All of the new partners will get some form of the new retail store environment, but they will vary in execution. While the 59th Street store-in-store will be about 400 square feet, several different varieties of in-store environments — ranging from 250 square feet to 400 square feet — have been designed by Scott McCormican, an in-house designer for Stila’s parent, the Estee Lauder Cos., said Port.
“The concept allows us to present our vision for the brand in a cohesive way,” said Lobell. “Our aim with this concept was figuring out how to marry the whimsy and humor of Stila with its modern side.”
Each in-store environment has a collection of furniture from which to choose in common, and all will include a freestanding tester bar done in a navy shimmer finish with silver stars — intended to resemble the brand’s popular All Over Shimmer makeup packaging — and a cash-wrap area. In larger doors, the areas will also include custom-designed makeup vending machines, much like what Lobell helped to design for her first freestanding retail store at Beverly Center in Los Angeles last year.
In spaces that don’t allow for the vending machines, custom-designed cases will be installed.
Also included in the concept: individual makeup caddies with chairs and open-sell bookcases, vending machines, and a cash wrap area.
The brand will also continue opening limited numbers of freestanding Stila stores, mostly on the West Coast, said Poccia. Two are now open, in Los Angeles’ Beverly Center and the Valley Fair Mall in Northern California.