NEW YORK — BeneFit Cosmetics is launching its first BeneFit Brow Bar concept at Macy’s West as part of a bid to develop its company-owned retail base.
BeneFit’s inaugural 860-square-foot brow space will bow at Macy’s Union Square flagship in San Francisco on Oct. 4. Two more are scheduled to roll out by January in California, at Macy’s West stores at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and at Valley Fair Mall in San Jose. Executives at the beauty company have eyed as many as 10 urban Macy’s West locations for the space. BeneFit, which is majority owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, reportedly does about 17 percent of its business within the 141-store Macy’s West chain. According to estimates, BeneFit could reach total retail sales of $120 million by yearend.
Discussing the brow venture, which comprises no-appointment-necessary, in-and-out formats, BeneFit chief executive officer Diane Miles said, “We’re taking the next step in developing [the business] within Macy’s West [by] identifying and developing flagship opportunities.” Such stores are targets for the brow bars because “you have to have a lot of passing [foot] traffic.” Miles cited the highly visible Union Square space, which is carved out in a window on San Francisco’s O’Farrell Street.
“It takes our counter and moves it into an experience,” BeneFit co-founder Jean Ford said of the interplay between the brand’s existing counters and the added spaces. “[It] reinforces our spontaneity as a brand.” Though Ford asserted “this is not a cookie-cutter approach,” blueprints call for the bars to be typically located in close proximity to BeneFit’s respective main counters. Larger bars will have as many as five stations manned by both aestheticians and dedicated sales associates.
The brow bars, themed with the tag line, “Drop in Now,” could each generate $500,000 in annual sales, according to sources’ estimates. A typical brow service will be priced at $15 and will take five to 10 minutes to perform.
“Macy’s West has a very developed BeneFit business,” said Cindy Harper, the chain’s vice president and divisional merchandise manager for cosmetics. “Brows is a hot category and we realized the importance of making these services available to our customers.”
The BeneFit brow bar scheduled to open in Macy’s West at South Coast Plaza won’t be the first such facility at that store. L’Oréal’s Lancôme brand, which operates at least three “Brow Zones,” opened one there last year. Aside from serving as an additional revenue stream, brow bars have been cited for their ability to make additional sales while customers are being serviced, in addition to encouraging return business.
Concurrent to the brow bar initiative, BeneFit is expanding its wholesale and company-owned retail bases. The brand will open its fifth freestanding store Oct. 1 in Los Gatos, Calif. On the eastern front, BeneFit, which currently is carried in 20 Macy’s East stores, expects to enter numerous additional doors within the 105-unit chain. The brand plans to open as many as four freestanding boutiques in urban, up-market neighborhoods next year.
But it’s brows for now and BeneFit has its own expert — Arianne Damboise, whose tweezing and shaping services have been on the menu at BeneFit’s freestanding boutiques for 14 years. Damboise will train aesthetician recruits for the bars.
In other BeneFit news, Shania Twain has partnered with the brand and Glamour magazine in efforts to combat heart disease. The Grammy Award winner — who lost her grandmother to heart disease — picked her favorite shade of red for a lipstick, called Shania Red, which is described as a “sweetheart” sheer red. Shania Red, which is priced at $14, launched early this month and will be carried at Sephora, sephora.com and benefitcosmetics.com through Dec. 31. Net proceeds will be given to the American Heart Association.
— Matthew W. Evans
New Face for Goutal
HONG KONG — Camille Goutal, daughter of the late legendary perfumer, Annick Goutal, flew to Hong Kong last week to introduce the company’s new skin care product, which signals a return to the treatment category after a long absence for the Paris-based company.
Crème Splendide is a day cream containing rose sap and is designed to provide natural hydration, boosted radiance and wrinkle reduction. Goutal says when the company decided to enter the skin care arena, there was no question of basing the first product on anything but roses — her mother’s favorite flower and the company’s symbol. “The lab had to find something new and it turned out that the sap is very high quality — it is very gentle, very effective and very stable. We haven’t had to add a lot of chemicals to help it keep,” she said.
The cream will be priced at $154 for 60 mg. Goutal said she could not give a sales projection, but industry sources estimate the firm will produce 3,000 jars of the cream for the global rollout.
After bowing in a few select stores in France, the cream will be launched worldwide in December. One store that will be eager for its shipment is Joyce Beauty. The multibrand beauty boutique sells Annick Goutal fragrances and candles alongside other niche cult brands, including Nars, Chantecaille, Space N.K. and Kiehl’s.