WSL Strategic Retail is known for staking out the best in retail trends. Here, the retail and brand consulting firm reviews Menscience, a nine-year-old skin care and nutrition brand that operates a store in Soho, located at 329 Lafayette Street. Indeed, men’s grooming has long struggled to hit the mark with male shoppers, but Menscience, according to WSL, is the latest in men-centric retail concepts that provides learnings for manufacturers and retailers looking to create compelling propositions for men.

BACKGROUND: Until the new flagship store, Menscience products were available through the brand’s website, and retailers such as Nordstrom, Barneys New York, and Amazon, with prices ranging from $20 to $40. It targets younger men with new ideas about health and grooming. “The modern man, who wants to look and feel his best in every situation” is the company’s tagline.

BEST KEPT SECRET: The store space is very small and intimate, and is slipped in between two storefronts, like a secret place you need to be “in the know” to find. Products are displayed along both walls, creating a “tunnel” effect. The aesthetic is very masculine with steel accents, dark shelving and recycled wood throughout.

SHOPPING EXPERIENCE: Skin care, grooming and nutrition products (e.g., shaving, anti-aging, acne, hair care, vitamins, etc.) are all under one roof. Products are meticulously displayed in geometric shelving up to the ceiling. Products even include nutritional supplements for workouts and fitness. Testers line the countertops to encourage sampling. A tablet also sits on the counter, letting shoppers easily search products by category to learn more about ingredients and benefits.

SOUND ADVICE: Sales associates are very knowledgeable and provide information and guidance on which products are best for your needs. Not ready to buy? They’ll send you home with some great samples to try plus education on all the store has to offer.

Menscience is equipped with many added services: straight razor shaves ($30), haircuts ($50), complimentary skincare consultations, and facial treatments. Treatments are provided in a private room on the lower-level.

WHY IT WORKS: The brand/store doesn’t just target “men” in general, but Millennial men who are shopping this category more than other age groups.The product offering is simple, scientific, and designed specifically for Millennial men who view grooming as more than shaving. The space is small, easy to navigate, a one-stop-shop for men who want convenience. Service is key here as one to two specialists are available to educate and help men choose, which is important to Millennial men when shopping beauty/skin care.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: Merchandising to the roof is a bit overwhelming – feels like there’s more to sort through than there actually is. Could be a real turn off to male shoppers. In-store iPads do not include all the features of the website (product ratings, peer reviews, tutorial videos and more).

To learn more about how men shop or to request information about WSL’s new How America Shops Men & Shopping Report contact Allison Konish @ [email protected].