Skincare brand Kiehl’s to double stores

Kiehl’s, the premium skincare brand, is to double its presence in the UK with plans to open a further 24 stores within five years.

The upmarket brand, which has been owned by L’Oréal since 2000, is to expand in the UK as part of plans to triple the business globally in the next three years.

James Rickards, general manager of Kiehl’s, told The Telegraph that from its existing 26 stand-alone stores, he is hoping to have 50 open by 2018.

Recent openings include shops in Belfast and Brent Cross, north London, with plans for new stores in Glasgow and London. “We’ve tripled the business overall in the last three years and [want] to do the same in the next three,” said Mr Rickards.

The business, founded as an apothecary in New York’s East Village in 1851, now has 1,200 points of sale in approximately 40 countries. Of the 1,200, some 300 are stand-alone shops with the rest being concessions in department stores such as Selfridges and Bloomingdale’s.

In the UK, the brand has gone from having just 13 freestanding shops two years ago. Unusually for a major skincare brand, Kiehl’s spends no money on advertising and instead grows by word of mouth.

Its stores contain many of the hallmarks of the still-standing original store, including a large wooden cabinet containing samples of all its products, and a skeleton, known as “Mr Bones”.

The business was started by John Kiehl, a homeopathic pharmacist, then passed to an apprentice, Irving Morse, whose descendants ran the business until its sale to L’Oréal.

At that stage, Kiehl’s sales stood at $30m (£18.4m), against an expected $500m this year.

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