Lord Jones expands Sephora ties

Following the debut of Sephora’s CBD Standards, a first-of-its-kind, retailer-led initiative within the cannabis and beauty space, Lord Jones is staking its first-to-Sephora claim.

At the start of the year, Lord Jones expanded into 282 Sephora stores after first launching in 171 locations in July 2019. Lord Jones is currently featured in Sephora’s “The Next Big Thing” merchandising display, along with with CBD-focused brands Saint Jane, Prima and Flora + Bast, to highlight the “Standards.” In late February, the brand debuted endcaps in 21 select Sephora stores in California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Colorado to offer more one-on-one exposure to customers. (Lord Jones did not state the cost of these endcaps). More significant, however, is Lord Jones’ movement into the face category: On Tuesday, it will launch its Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer on its e-commerce site before moving it into Sephora locations and Sephora.com in April.

As the CBD beauty and wellness space continues to be inundated with nascent brands, Cindy Capobianco, Lord Jones co-founder and chief brand officer, said the time is right to move from the body-care category into face. Many of Sephora’s in-house challenger brands, like Saint Jane and Prima, are best known for their face products. Lord Jones’ Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer will retail for $75. According to BDS Analytics, average topical CBD product prices have increased in step with customer adoption. In 2014, the average price of products was approximately $18. Last year, the average was over $28.

“We still pinch ourselves to have been the first CBD brand at Sephora, and we’re thrilled to continue to grow our presence there. With this new real estate, we will amplify Lord Jones’ CBD education within the Sephora store environment,” said Capobianco. “One of our founding principles was to introduce best-in-class skin-care formulations into the emerging CBD industry. Entering the face category was a natural next step for us. Our fans have been using our Royal Oil as a face oil, so we wanted to follow that [product] up with something that was relevant to what is happening in skin care now.”

The company reported that, as of April 2019, Lord Jones’ Royal Oil product has been in Sephora’s top-five-selling oils. Lord Jones did not disclose any further financial figures.

In response to the multi-step, skin-care routines than many consumers are grappling with, Acid Mantle comes as a strategic move for Lord Jones.

“We are on a mission to raise awareness of this protective barrier that our skin naturally produces. It is essential that we maintain a healthy acid mantle and we provide a simple solution to care for it,” said Capobianco.

Lord Jones’ new product innovation and store merchandising comes just months after its $300 million acquisition from Canadian cannabis company Cronos.

Still, stocks in the cannabis space are floundering due to stock market and coronavirus uncertainties. Cronos has fared better than Tilray and Aurora Cannabis, which have been hit the hardest. On Monday, Aurora Cannabis and Tilray saw stock prices fall by 8.3% and 7.7%, respectively. Cronos’ fell by 4.7%.

CBD brand contraction is expected, given the change in economic climate. Robert Rosenheck, Lord Jones founder and CEO, previously told Glossy there are “hundreds of mislabeled products claiming to contain cannabis that contain zero CBD or other cannabinoids.”

“CBD companies are facing some serious challenges right now, and the coronavirus is not helping. There are low barriers to entry in the CBD space today, so we have seen mass entrance by thousands of new players trying to get into the category, 3500 and counting, making it really difficult for any of them to thrive,” said Bethany Gomez, managing director at The Brightfield Group. “Even before the market started declining, investors were becoming wary of unprofitable cannabis or CBD companies operating in a competitive market. Everyone is trying to raise money from the same pool of disillusioned investors, which is putting many companies in a tough spot.”

Of the brand’s amplified exposure at Sephora, Rosenheck said, “We were chosen to be the first CBD brand at Sephora based on the strength of our brand, our experience in the space and our track record delivering a consistent, high-quality product. We worked with the Sephora leadership for many months prior to our launch to educate them about CBD, cannabis, the consumer, and the legal and regulatory environment. We had one chance to get it right, so we all understood what was at stake.”

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