Clean Beauty Retailer Credo Opens Third New York Store, With More To Come
Credo is on course to be the first clean beauty chain to hit a double-digit door count.
The retailer is opening an Upper East Side location today at 67th Street and Third Avenue, bringing its total number of stores to nine across the United States. Despite growing competition in the clean beauty realm from retailers such as Follain, The Detox Market and Aillea broadening their store bases and new players like Grove Collaborative-owned Roven jumping into the field, NextWorld Evergreen-backed Credo remains the largest specialty retailer in the category.
“Our Upper East Side store is similar in size to our [900-square-foot] SoHo store, slightly smaller than our locations [in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Plano, Tex.] with Tata Harper spas,” says Credo CEO Dawn Dobras. “We love its jewel-box feel. Our on-floor services include clean swaps, express facials, makeup applications and brow waxing. Our team, much like the other locations, includes trained aestheticians and makeup artists ready to help our clients on their clean beauty journey.”
“We are seeing strong positive comps in existing stores, growing digital faster than the industry and opening new stores.”
Dobras, a seasoned retail veteran who formerly held leadership positions at Charlotte Russe and Gap Inc., where she launched Old Navy’s e-commerce platform, points to customer input as guiding Credo’s decision to secure an Upper East Side address. “We have always had customers coming from all over Manhattan to our Prince Street store, asking for one in their own neighborhood,” she says, speaking of the Credo store that bowed in 2016. “We have had our eye on UES for several years and, when this spot opened up, we were thrilled. We love that Alo Yoga will be our new neighbor, joining the other beauty and health spots that surround the block.”
Last year, detox treatment center-cum-cafe and retail concept Clean Market opened half a mile south of Credo’s Upper East Side store, solidifying the area as a wellness and beauty haven. It’s just the sort of area Credo’s core demographic of wellness-minded women aged 25 to 40 years old flock to. At the Credo location, shoppers will find many of the retailer’s bestselling brands. Products from Tata Harper, Marie Veronique, Goop, Josh Rosebrook, Kosas, RMS, Plume, Lily Lolo, Bawdy Beauty, PYT and Ilia are available. Tata Harper’s recently-launched Vitae range contains Credo’s four most expensive items. The Serum Vitae 2.0 is priced at $450 for a 1-oz. bottle.
Credo’s New York expansion, part of a real estate strategy Frédéric Benqué, managing partner of San Francisco investment firm NextWorld Evergreen, described in an interview with Beauty Independent earlier this year as “clusterization,” comes as Manhattan’s beauty shopping scene is surging. While Barneys New York shuttered, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s completed multimillion-dollar revamps of their beauty departments. Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom both debuted New York City stores featuring prominent beauty sections offering makeup applications, spa treatments and ample arrays of indie brands. Space NK is planning to put a flagship in Manhattan’s up-and-coming NoMad neighborhood.
Nationwide, the clean beauty retail boom is happening as the segment is advancing. According to Future Market Insights, the natural cosmetics market, valued at $36 billion this year, will progress at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 5% to reach $54.4 billion in 2027. In August at the beauty entrepreneur education conference BeautyX Capital Summit, Dobras reported during an on-stage discussion that Credo is registering triple-digit growth, outpacing the market. “We are seeing strong positive comps in existing stores, growing digital faster than the industry and opening new stores,” she elaborates. “Credo Beauty is growing.”
Dobras isn’t concerned about sales cannibalization resulting from Credo having numerous Manhattan locations. “We are just trying to keep up with the customer demand,” she says. “We love NYC and, apparently, NYC loves Credo, too.” In fact, the CEO reveals additional New York locations are planned and, questioned about whether any of Credo’s three New York locations might close, she exclaims, “No way! We are actively looking for more stores right now. We have another store opening in San Francisco, our hometown, shortly and will continue to look in our existing markets and new markets in 2020.”