So much has been said, tweeted and blogged about the Kiehl’s South Africa launch over the last weeks and yet the official launch is actually only happening later this week…
Kiehl’s can’t be separated from its rich history and the story goes that they started as an apothecary, a single neighbourhood pharmacy in New York in 1851 and was run and handed down over 4 generations as a family business. The brand has close ties with the medical fraternity to this day; hence Mr Bones (the skeleton you see in every store) serves to pay homage to the industry. Kiehl’s is a one-stop-shop for the entire family’s skin, hair and body care (including a kiddies range!) and still lives up to those old school values.
Kiehl’s window display at Edgars, hard to miss!
Edgars partnership – the 1st Kiehl’s store in Africa
You’ll know by now that Kiehl’s partnered with Edgars, the leader is cosmetics and fragrances in SA to bring us their 1st store at their plush newly renovated Sandton City location. A store-within-a-store concept, quite noticeably Kiehl’s has chosen not to be located in the (usually over lit, somewhat intimidating) cosmetics section of the store. While they do have a pop-up store there as part of the launch, the Kiehl’s store itself is on a completely different level of the rest of cosmetics altogether. They’re closest to menswear & this ties in with their philosophy of being accessible and keeping close to the key advantage they have over competitors – an exceptionally large male clientele base, a hugely under developed market in SA…
Enter L’Oreal & Kiehl’s booms
The brand was bought by L’Oreal in 2000 and the 1st store outside the US opened in London in 2001. With the purchase, Kiehl’s newly appointed president Michelle Taylor said, “The thing most important to me is to keep Kiehl’s true to what it is. Respect for old-fashioned values is really who we are.”
Since 2000 the company expanded from its one Manhattan flagship store to more than 30 stores today. And while the total luxury market grew by 10% last year, Kiehl’s grew by a whopping 40% & here’s how…