Less than a year after first dabbling in selling CBD products online, Sephora is finally ready to bring its offering to stores.
On Friday, Sephora began selling an edited assortment of Lord Jones’ skin care in 171 stores in New York, California, Indiana Kentucky and more. Lord Jones’ body lotion and body oil, with 100 milligrams of broad-spectrum CBD, will be available in stores next week, and in September, Lord Jones’ Royal Oil that retails for $100 will be present in stores.
“About a year before we launched on Sephora.com, Cindy [Capobianco, Lord Jones’ co-founder] met Cindy [Deily, vp of skin-care merchandising at Sephora], and at that time, Sephora carried no CBD products, but they were very curious about it because there was a tremendous amount of demand for it from their customers, which has only grown,” said Robert Rosenheck, Lord Jones founder and CEO. “One thing they saw in us is that we were leaders in the CBD space because we ran a medical marijuana collective. There was a lot of trust, and we were able to navigate how to bring CBD to market on a national level to their customers.”
“We consistently strive to bring first-to-market product trends, innovation and experiences of the highest quality to our clients, and the growth of our CBD category is one such example of this,” said Deily. “We have carefully curated an assortment of prestige CBD products, and we are excited to welcome Lord Jones as our first CBD brand to be offered in stores.”
Lord Jones, which got its start as a direct-to-consumer brand and also sells a line of CBD gumdrops, chocolates and tinctures, has been seen as a category builder for Sephora, as it was the first CBD brand to be carried on Sephora.com in October 2018. Today, Sephora sells 14 CBD and cannabis-infused products on its site, from the likes of Saint Jane Beauty and Herbivore. Lord Jones will be rolling out six new products throughout the rest of 2019, first on LordJones.com and Sephora.com and then in stores, Rosenheck said.
Many retailers selling beauty continue to add CBD products to their stores, from Urban Outfitters to Barneys New York and Ulta with its massive, 1,200 store play with Cannuka. Sephora will be cross-pollinating Lord Jones’ CBD products in its Clean at Sephora assortment. At the end of July, Sephora will implement stricter standards on its curation of clean beauty, from ensuring its products are free of over 50 ingredients versus 13 when Clean at Sephora first began in May 2018. The retailer has also upped this segment from 61 brands and around 2,000 products at launch to 68 brands and close to 4,000 items today.
“First and foremost, we are a cannabis brand, and we want to destigmatize cannabis, but our history is also about clean beauty and wellness benefits,” said Rosenheck. “We know CBD is trendy and people are hopping on that bandwagon, but we have been doing this since before it was a trend. We have a product pipeline that showcases innovation in CBD but also active [ingredients] that are beneficial to overall health and wellness.”
Capobianco said the Lord Jones customer is broad and, while there are some customers looking for topical skin-care benefits, others are looking for relief from anxiety or inflammation.
Its DTC business is responsible for the bulk of its current sales (even after inking a deal with SoulCycle’s 85 studios in March to sell its body lotion), but Rosenheck expects the Sephora business to accelerate faster than its online business. “Sephora’s national distribution affords us much greater reach and will be our most impactful partnership,” said Rosenheck, who noted that 60% of Sephora sales come from brick-and-mortar stores. Lord Jones will now be in over 1,000 retail touchpoints. Though it would not disclose 2018 sales, industry sources said revenue increased by 900% last year.
“It’s critical for us to stay authentic and transparent. We are focused on partners who understand that CBD is hard to navigate and complex for the consumer,” said Capobianco. “Education and value to the end consumer is what we want.”