Skin care brand Dermalogica has opened a new store in West Hollywood, its second in the Los Angeles area. The reasoning behind the new store? Location, location, location.
“We’ve always wanted to have a presence here,” said Jane Wurwand, founder of the Carson, Calif.-based company, which has had a flagship in Santa Monica for 15 years. “We realized that Los Angeles is really a collection of neighborhoods instead of one main city. And with the inconvenience of traffic and travel…people don’t have to cross the 405 going West.”
The 1,000-square-foot store, which opened February 13, is designed to serve as a community hub, said Jane, offering everything from events promoting skin care innovations to sampling opportunities. Skin treatments, some as quick as 10 minutes, have been designed for the time-crushed customer.
“The new store is designed for now,” she said. “Fifteen years ago when we opened in Santa Monica there weren’t influencers, and not much content and education was available online. We’ve seen a rise in everyone thinking they are an expert. But so little of what we see online is from licensed and well-trained aestheticians. We want to keep making that our focus.”
The new space has three treatment rooms, and retail counters staffed by trained Dermalogica aestheticians who are able to diagnose skin care issues and prescribe appropriate products.
“What I like to think we’re doing differently is making this space more about community,” said Lauren Consiglio, Vice President, U.S. Marketing and Global Programs for Dermalogica. “We’ve trained more than 100,000 therapists worldwide and bring that level of education to the consumer.” Upcoming workshops, she said, will be on subjects as diverse as treating adult acne to the rationale behind double-cleansing.
“These are techniques usually reserved for skin care therapists, but we want people to come in and ask questions and play with products and understand the formulations,” said Lauren.
The Santa Monica location has been an incubator for product development, and Jane believes that will continue at the new location.
“We can see what customers are struggling with, and that helps inform the products we are developing. Our stores are a like research facilities, as well as being a way to connect directly with consumers.”
Offering brisk and effective treatments on-site is another response to changing times and shopping habits, said Jane.
“In our first store, we were offering treatments with a 30-minute minimum, going up to an hour. That has dramatically shifted for our brand. Now we have a 10-minute treatment, where someone can pop in and pop out. We’ve wanted to develop a lot of flexibility around timing and spontaneity.”
Jane believes there’s still a place for freestanding stores, with the right approach.
“I think people still want a hands-on experience, and one of human connection,” she said. “They want to take away valuable information and be an active partner in learning about their skin and not a passive recipient. They are looking for a place for community gatherings, and to get to know others in the neighborhood.”