On March 2, Follain’s eponymous skin-care brand is stepping out of its own clean beauty doors and into Ulta, Anthropologie and QVC.
Boston-based Follain has six stores in Dallas and New York City, but it is using its private-label skin-care brand to reach new customers in markets where it has no presence. With its expansion, Follain is entering 395 Ulta doors through its Sparked program, as well as 33 Anthropologie doors. The brand will also be featured on QVC after being selected as a brand partner through Qurate Retail’s Big Find contest.
Follain offers 13 items across its body- and skin-care assortment; this accounts for 15% of the retailer’s total sales. Follain sells 49 other brands in its stores and online. Follain’s private-label body-care products will remain an exclusive to the retailer.
“Follain skin care is a way to get people excited to try clean beauty, and that [experience] shouldn’t be restricted to our stores,” said Tara Foley, Follain founder and CEO. “Most product lines we carry at Follain are driven by ingredient-specific stories or trying to do something new that’s never been done, whereas Follain the brand is simply trying to fill a basic need that customers have.”
The particular advantage of working with the above three retailers simultaneously is the layered effect they can provide to Follain. Anthropologie has a similar customer profile to Follain stores because it is a lifestyle-focused retailer, but clearly more locations. As part of the Sparked program, Follain will receive top-shelf placement in Ulta’s non-metro cities. Ulta also does not currently have a set of clean beauty standards, unlike Sephora and QVC, meaning Follain will inform Ulta’s future expansion. QVC introduced clean beauty guidelines in June 2019. Foley’s appearance on QVC will allow the private-label line to gain more exposure in both television and digital environments.
“Clean beauty continues to be increasingly important among our customers, and since introducing our Clean Beauty Standard last year. We have focused on expanding our assortment and continue to educate our customers to help them navigate this space,” said Rob Robillard, QVC and HSN vp of integrated beauty.
As a retailer, Foley said she is aware that Follain products cannot only be placed on a shelf and “hope it sells itself.” The company is in the process of hiring a field team to accommodate its new 400 stores, as well as a concrete marketing strategy. Over time, Follain could use sales data from retail partners to decide if it should expand its own brick-and-mortar retail footprint, Foley said.
“We have to take [the Follain bramd] up a level, but we always intended to do more with this brand [outside of Follain stores],” she said. “People want clean beauty now, but they don’t have access to it.”