WWD Digital Daily
Le Domaine Gains Stateside Distribution With Bluemercury
The skin care brand, cofounded by Brad Pitt, will go into 20 Bluemercury doors in its first brick-and-mortar bid in the U.S.
Le Domaine has found its first U.S. retail partner.
The brand, cofounded by Brad Pitt, will enter Bluemercury online and in 20 doors on Tuesday. It includes four products — a cleanser, a serum and creams in two weights — and prices range from $209 to $242.
Despite the megawatt name behind it, Tracy Kline, Bluemercury's head of merchandising, spa and supply chain, said it's the brand's science-backed formulations that differentiated it in the crowded skin care market. “They hit all the great points: the story, the ingredients, being environmentally conscious, patent-pending ingredients. The art and science and having this story of the vineyards and the wineries for the last 20 years to deliver this great product — we think it's going to be super successful.”
Le Domaine debuted last year directly on its website, and includes patentpending compounds called GSM10 and ProGR3. The bottles, except for the cleanser, are refillable and almost entirely recyclable; the caps are made from upcycled wine barrels from Château de Beaucastel, a vineyard in Provence owned by the Perrin family.
“We are building the business slowly and quietly,” said Marc Perrin, cofounder of Le Domaine. “We want our story to be understood, we are very natural, we are limited in our footprint of our product.”
Despite that measured approach, the reception has been strong, Perrin said. Twenty-five percent of new customers buy products on subscription, and the client base skews almost half male. The partnership also comes as he evaluates other key markets for retail partnerships.
“We are launching with Harvey Nichols, and Printemps Deauville,” Perrin said. “We are selecting the places we grow, and this will be the first time the products will be readily available in the U.S. We know from our website that's our biggest market.”
It gives Bluemercury an entrypoint with male customers, Kline said — ”We want to continue to lure male clients into Bluemercury and have them become comfortable with coming in, taking care of their skin.”
Kline is merchandising the brand as part of The Cache, its discovery platform for burgeoning brands that debuted earlier this year. “We talk about it all the time. Beauty is overwhelming, there's 10 new brands every day, and people are tired. They want us to do the work for them, and [The Cache] has brought this curiosity and disruption that clients don't feel overwhelmed by,” she said.
As reported, The Cache was a primary driver of Bluemercury's record-breaking sales volume in the last reported quarter. Skin care is still “a huge penetration of our business,” Kline said, adding that the service component to Bluemercury is also reaping rewards.
“Service has always been part of our DNA, and we're continuing to challenge ourselves and how we are more educated. We're building an education team,” Kline said. “Of course, it's our brand partners and our portfolio, but it really is the service aspect and the feeling people have when they come to our stores. It's very tailored, it's not overwhelming to them, and our beauty advisers are helping with that.”
That curatorial prowess was part of Bluemercury's appeal to Perrin. “We're launching in 20 shops — it's almost national coverage, it will be in most markets,” he said. “They are very selective, they have a very tough selection process, and it's a place where only efficient brands are present. That's where we want to be, and as part of the Cache, they promote the new brands. Even though we have Brad, we are still very niche and we want this message to go through. We want people to feel and touch our products and understand the circularity.”