With Spanish spa brand Natura Bissé launching its wares to the salon market at Professional Beauty 2015 later this month, spa development manager Claire Dickens reveals whats in store.
Why is now the time to push Natura Bissé in the UK?
A while ago we entered Harrods, after Mr Al-Fayed approached the Spanish embassy in London to ask how he could get hold of our products. At first, Natura Bissé was not interested in the UK market, but Ricardo [Fisas, founder of the brand] met with Mohammed Al-Fayed and we’ve got a really successful counter in the beauty hall.
Little by little we’ve opened spa accounts here and there – the Sanderson and One Aldwych in London, G&V Royal Mile [formerly Missoni Hotel] in Edinburgh, and that’s how it jogged along for some time. But from the beginning of last year, they made a conscious decision that it was too big a market to ignore.
How do you plan to grow in the UK?
We now have 15 UK accounts. We opened recently in the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire, which has an 18-treatment room spa, and in Grace Belgravia ladies’ club.
For us, it’s not really the number of accounts, it’s more about where. We want to be seen in the best addresses in the country. We’ve identified about 250 hotel spas as the kind of businesses we want to target: four- and five-star hotels with significant spa operations.
Are you also targeting the salon market?
Very much so. There are some really high-quality salons out there, and the products and treatments we have allow us to meet a lot of different needs, whether that’s price sensitivity or time sensitivity – because a lot of high-end establishments in London might say, “we can’t have treatments that last longer than 45 minutes because our clients are so time poor.”
Are spa owners concerned about your strong position in retail?
It’s actually much more of a positive. I think spas now spend lots of money on retail areas in their businesses, but they’re still terrible at retailing. Some of that is down to the fact that the environment they build is incompatible with a retail customer’s journey.
The spa manager is now much more interested in how we can turn over the money we do in a 4x3m block in Harrods, where we’ve got 26 competitors around us, whereas they have a beautiful spa shop. The profile of their customer is exactly the profile of who comes into Harrods. They may not be buying it from spas, but they’re buying it somewhere.
What are your hero products and treatments?
We have 13 different collections, and we’re flexible about how our customer cherry picks within those. Our Diamond Life Infusion serum is our iconic product. It’s based on the biomarkers of the skin, like elasticity, wrinkles and moisture content. We’ve launched an eye version of that.
We also have our NB Ceuticals range, which was developed with an oncology programme in Spain. Every year we run oncology training programmes for therapists so they can treat clients suffering from cancer. Many people who’ve had chemo or are going through it find their skin is in a real state of break down, but lots of companies won’t treat them because their skin is too sensitive and they can’t do anything for it. PB