Brand President says US will be key to growth strategy
Following the finalisation of the acquisition of parent company Steiner Leisure by private equity firm Catterton, Elemis has revealed its retail, spa and NPD strategies for 2016. The estimated US$933m deal - which was finalised on 7 December and part funded by Elemis' management team - means the brand is now in an ideal position to go global, Elemis President Séan Harrington told members of the press.
“We've managed to build our business, but very domestically, so the UK is our strength. What we've done is sold the potential,” he said, adding that the brand is likely to end the year 17% up. “The brand is in amazing shape; it's stronger than it's ever been; it's got investment and it's got cash flow. It's really set ready to take on the big boys and global expansion.”
The expansion focus will be “very much US driven”, according to the company. Harrington, who himself relocated to Florida in 2015, aims to open three US Houses of Elemis (along similar lines to the one built in Mayfair, London earlier this year) open by April 2016 – in Miami, New York and LA; to launch on QVC on 16 January in the US for the first time and to go live with elemis.com by the end of this month.
“We're doing it properly,” he says of Elemis' American retail strategy. “If you take Nordstrom, the previous management had it in 60 doors. We reduced this in a first round to 40, a second round to 24 and then down to ten, but we've reduced it from having single bay shelving only to proper brand builds with six staff, etc.” The brand will only be available in 30-40 department stores in America and the primary focus will be on growing Elemis' concept stores, e-commerce – Harrington said the aim for elemis.com was to emulate the Net-a-Porter experience – and QVC, while building its spa business.
In addition, all 72 treatments in the spa menu have been revisited and optimised, while the 600-odd skus have been rebranded and will debut at the Professional Beauty event next year.
“We wanted to go up to capital letters and really get the brand to speak for itself,” said co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Oriele Frank. “There's a little bit more self selection: you've got bullet points with who it's for, what are the actives and the results for every product... we will really see the brand elevated visually.”
A line restructure will also see the Pro-Intense range (for the 50+ age group) changed to Pro-Definition and the Tri-Enzyme line become Dynamic Resurfacing for easier navigation.
The upshot of such investment is that the brand is anticipated to double in size over the next 12 months. “You're going to see [sales] double really quickly; we're going to see [sales figures] immediately climb by about $50m next year,” commented Harrington.