The Detox Market Goes Big In The Big Apple
The Detox Market has opened its biggest location yet to mark its New York debut.
The green beauty retailer’s two-story, 2,100-square-foot flagship on Houston and Elizabeth streets is roughly double the size of its next largest U.S. store, and more than quadruple the size of the two sub-400-square-foot stores it added this year in Los Angeles and Toronto. The Detox Market’s selection in New York spans 109 brands, including bestsellers RMS Beauty, Odacité, Kjaer Weis, The Beauty Chef, May Lindstrom, Josh Rosebrook and Tata Harper, and newcomers Port and Polish, Lady Suite and Kari Gran, and mirrors the scale of the selection at its Beverly Boulevard outpost in LA.
“Houston has huge foot and car traffic, and Elizabeth has a lot of interesting concepts. It’s a really cool spot,” says Romain Gaillard, founder and CEO of The Detox Market. “My vision from day one was to find a place where we could gather the community for events and make a real statement that green beauty is happening. When I saw the space, I felt it was perfect. It has everything I want.”
Amy Lin, co-founder of Suulin Architects, a Toronto-based firm that worked with The Detox Market on the New York flagship and two prior locations, says, “This unique site stands at the confluence of some spectacular neighborhoods, and I feel that it has that special New York quality of being very much out there – on the very busy, loud street of Houston – yet completely hidden on Elizabeth. To me, that is a lot of what New York City is about, discovering places that are actually right there.”
The investment required to plant a location in New York can be enormous. Gaillard estimates completing a store in the city is two to three times the cost of completing a store in Los Angeles. For The Detox Market, the outlay is worthwhile to amplify its presence, continue to raise the profile of green beauty, a segment of the beauty market that remains in the minority, and drive sales offline and online. E-commerce is responsible for slightly less than half of the retailer’s business. The Detox Market’s total sales have doubled annually each of the last five years, according to Gaillard.
“This unique site stands at the confluence of some spectacular neighborhoods, and I feel that it has that special New York quality of being very much out there – on the very busy, loud street of Houston – yet completely hidden on Elizabeth. To me, that is a lot of what New York City is about, discovering places that are actually right there.”
“If you are just going to do a retail store and your goal is to amortize your cost of buildout within x amount of years, it doesn’t make much sense,” he says. “All our stores are very successful and, as a company, we’re fairly successful, but, when you are doing something that big, if you look at the pure economics, that’s not how you’re going to justify it. I wanted to create an experience and, in that sense, it makes sense.”
To create a compelling experience, he emphasizes The Detox Market spared no expense. It had signs for the store hand-painted and relied on local supplier ABC Stone for Grigio Trambiserra, a soft gray Italian marble, that’s used along with white ash wood in the New York location. Multi-level islands topped with merchandise allow for customers to meander the narrow space efficiently while exploring products at their leisure. Inspired by ingredients in the products it sells, jasmine, ylang ylang and lavender plants are interspersed with hardier vegetation throughout the store.
“One of the most important aspects of The Detox Market shops for Romain is that the products are accessible and inviting. Romain wants people to feel welcome and invited to linger over products,” says Lin, elaborating, “Shopping online is very disconnecting and abstract, and I think everything about making a successful shop is providing the opposite of that experience. So, we wanted to do everything we could to create a tactile environment with natural materials and an immersive sensory experience with the plants all around.”
Dubbed the wellness apartment and occupying about 1,000 square feet, the second story of the New York flagship is dedicated to events, workshops, facials, makeup sessions and content creation. The event schedule is packed to celebrate its arrival and, this week, features Kure Bazaar, W3ll People, Odacité, Rahua, Moon Juice, Kosås and Kjaer Weis. The Detox Market also has a plant-festooned rooftop to push its events up a level.
“What’s important to me is to find a community that will be receptive to what we do and to our message. It’s a very different approach. A lot of people look at how much people make, and we are looking more at neighborhoods and trendsetters. It’s complicated to open a store in a city you don’t know. Green beauty is still fairly new to a lot of people.”
With its expansion into New York, The Detox Market has seven stores, and that number doesn’t account for its five beauty corners at Café Gratitude locations in Southern California. Going forward, it plans to open three to four stores a year. Upcoming doors are expected to reinforce cities with existing The Detox Market units and bring the retailer to destinations currently without them.
“I really like to spend time selecting where we go, and we’re looking at many different places. What’s important to me is to find a community that will be receptive to what we do and to our message,” says Gaillard. “It’s a very different approach. A lot of people look at how much people make, and we are looking more at neighborhoods and trendsetters. It’s complicated to open a store in a city you don’t know. Green beauty is still fairly new to a lot of people. It’s still the beginning of this massive shift.”
The Detox Market’s search for a New York location dates back to 2012. Gaillard wasn’t thrilled about possibilities in East Village or on Greenwich Village’s Bleecker Street. He found the retail districts in those neighborhoods overly commercial. Stores in other areas were too small or oddly-shaped, among the various reasons for their undesirability. Gaillard was dismayed until he came upon the Nolita building now housing The Detox Market that was constructed by Goldman Properties to reflect the style of the surrounding structures.
“Everything else I visited didn’t come close. It’s made with taste, and it looks like it’s 20,000 square feet, but it’s only about 2,000 square feet,” says Gaillard. “It’s a very known building in New York. If you ask anyone if the know about the brick building on Elizabeth and Houston, they say, ‘Of course!’ Even before we opened, I was getting emails and calls from people who’d seen our sign. That’s never happened to me before.”