IBE And Neiman Marcus Set To Bring Their Partnership To Life At ShopTheExpo Store Event In San Francisco

Indie Beauty Expo and Neiman Marcus are celebrating their partnership by hosting a two-day ShopTheExpo public shopping event on Saturday and Sunday at the luxury retailer’s San Francisco outpost.

The event marks the first time the recently renovated Union Square location will be hosting ShopTheExpo, an in-store manifestation of a digital assortment of 35 brands with a wide array of products priced from $8 to $1,388 that IBE assembles with Neiman Marcus. Nearly 15 of the brands in the assortment will be available for purchase over the weekend at the location, including Arcona, Circcell, ikoo, Mila D’Opiz, Eighth Day, O’o Hawaii, Olive + M and Sea Buck.

“We want to capitalize on the momentum as there is a huge trend within the beauty space in emerging brands, especially the demand for clean beauty,” says Elizabeth Ha, beauty and fragrance sales manager at the Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco. “This is a crucial time to engage with new and existing customers to build relationships and develop future business.”

To determine the right venue for ShopTheExpo, Noel Seriale, a member of IBE’s retail and buyer relations division, explains the Neiman Marcus and IBE teams assess the performance of indie beauty at stores. The skincare brand Eighth Day and marine collagen supplement specialist La Sirene have a strong presence at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, demonstrating that emerging brands have been playing significant roles at the store.

This weekend’s ShopTheExpo will mark skincare brand Venn’s first time participating in the event bringing the collection of indie beauty brands Neiman Marcus assembles with IBE to life.

Seriale underscores, “There is already a proven demand in this location for products that offer innovations in the independent beauty space.”

The ShopTheExpo event in San Francisco will be the fifth such event IBE and Neiman Marcus have put on. Each event showcases a different mix of brands selected to communicate a specific message to customers. The brand assemblage at the upcoming event speaks directly to discerning shoppers willing to spend for high-quality products.

“We must be very mindful of what kind of products this customer is looking for so that we can offer them new solutions to add to their beauty routines,” says Seriale, describing the Neiman Marcus customer in San Francisco as looking for the “cream of the crop” in beauty, particularly in prestige skincare, extremely engaged with brand histories, and educated on product ingredients and results. “We are able to bring in the strongest brands and products in order to maximize the selling opportunity.”

“We want to capitalize on the momentum as there is a huge trend within the beauty space in emerging brands.”

Venn, a ShopTheExpo participant at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, hasn’t been a part of the event before. However, its participation in the curations on the retailer’s website and inside its Manhattan store at Hudson Yards in Manhattan have strengthened the clean, yet clinical skincare brand’s positioning in the prestige beauty segment. The San Francisco event is anticipated to further elevate its profile in the segment.

“Through an event like this, we will get to meet with customers and explain our products so that they are better able to understand and appreciate the efficacy,” says founder and CEO Brian Oh. “What differentiates Venn, are the science and technology behind each of our products. As a brand, we focus on educating our customers on our products, including not only the ingredients but also our proprietary technologies that are used to effectively process the ingredients and deliver their benefits through our formulas.”

Venn’s Oh will be joined by founders from Arcona, Billion Dollar Brows, Circcell, Eighth Day, La Sirene, O’o Hawaii, Olive + M and Pistaché at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco during ShopTheExpo. At the event, they plan to cultivate relationships with Neiman Marcus sales associates as well as interact with customers. The sales associates provide valuable information to assist their businesses at the store.

The ShopTheExpo events give indie beauty brand founders opportunities to interact with Neiman Marcus customer as well its staff.
ShopTheExpo events give indie beauty brand founders opportunities to interact with Neiman Marcus customers as well its staff.

Eleni & Chris’s involvement in ShopTheExpo collection dates back to March 2018. From that involvement, the Scandinavian hair and skincare brand has noticed improved recognition with customers and retailers. ”Participating in ShopTheExpo pop-ups is important for us to expose the brand to new customers and associates as well as test out new markets,” says co-founder Inger Ellen. Ellen’s daughter and Eleni & Chris co-founder Christinah Nicolaisen adds that an in-store appearance is a win win. She says, “We see a boost in sales, and we love building relationships with new customers and the Neiman Marcus associates.”

Sima Mostafavi, founder of Pistaché Skincare, welcomes the opportunity to mingle with Neiman Marcus employees at the ShopTheExpo events. “Meeting the Neiman Marcus sales teams, from the floor manager to the individual sales staff, has been a truly remarkable experience,” she says. “Their savvy and sincerity helps the consumer understand the products, and helps showcase the brands in the best possible light. There is something to be learned every time you see a Neiman Marcus team member assisting a customer.”

The partnership between IBE and Neiman Marcus kicked off in October 2017 with a ShopTheExpo event at the retailer’s NorthPark Center store in Dallas. Since its inception, ShopTheExpo’s sales have increased annually.

“The trade show and these events have given us a platform to be seen and recognized outside of the digital e-commerce world.”

Emphasizing the importance of producing events throughout the year, Jillian Wright, co-founder of IBE operator Indie Beauty Media Group, says, “It can be an uphill battle for emerging or niche brands to get on the radar of large department store buyers, let alone to make a big splash in the stores in a real, meaningful way.”

Mostafavi appreciates the spotlight IBE places on indie brands at the events and its expos. She says, “The IBE team was one of the earliest Pistaché Skincare supporters, always cheering and excited for achievements both big and small. They truly got the brand story and what makes Pistache products so unique. The trade show and these events have given us a platform to be seen and recognized outside of the digital e-commerce world.”

Neiman Marcus and IBE infuse the ShopTheExpo events with experiential elements during, something that starts from the brand curation level. Wright says, “We feature brands such as Billion Dollar Brows that are not only unique in their offerings, but have an element of activation that we can bring to life on the floor through services, such as brow shaping, is so important to the success of these events.”

Pistaché Skincare is among 35 brands that are involved in Neiman Marcus’ indie beauty online curation that’s a partnership between IBE and the luxury retailer.

Neiman Marcus’s Ha elaborates, “We want to offer our customers unique experiences and through Indie Beauty [Expo]. This will allow us to offer services such as a multi-branded spa service and personalized consultation with IBE co-founder Jillian Wright.”