August 17, 2017 - The luxury beauty retailer's 19th store is slated to open in late August, in Oklahoma City's Classen Curve.
"There's an extremely wealthy population in Oklahoma City — they're definitely craving a new beauty retail buying experience," said Cos Bar chief executive officer David Olsen. "There's a Dillard's there, and that's about it."
The Oklahoma City location marks the start of a new store prototype for Cos Bar that features a room for services and more digital displays, according to chief executive officer David Olsen.
"There are enhancements we're doing," Olsen said. "We're adding a lot more digital to it." In addition to street-facing digital displays, the store will have in-store digital displays that will highlight events and in-store promotions.
The treatment room will feature a rotating series of services, Olsen said. Cos Bar has experimented with in-store services before, but going forward will include them in each new store. The Oklahoma City location is Cos Bar's fifth for 2017, following an investment from Tengram Capital Partners in late 2015 that came with plans to open more doors.
Services-wise, the Oklahoma City store will "keep it as fresh as possible," Olsen said. "It will be a rotating schedule. We'll do tanning Tuesdays and hair-braiding Thursdays, whatever it may be, so rotate through. We want to keep it fresh and interesting to the local clientele."
The Oklahoma City store is more focused on the Cos Bar brand than the brands it sells, Olsen noted, though there will be a Tom Ford display in the location. The location is outfitted with adjustable shelving, Aspen wood (a throwback to the chain's Aspen, Colo. roots), backlit featured-product and new-brand product displays, and items at the checkout section.
The store is also data enabled with Retail Next and Stella Connect, Olsen said, which essentially sends an e-mail from a staff member to a customer following up, offering continued communication and asking for a rating.
"It's really building the relationship that's been built in store and continuing that relationship online," Olsen said. "The customer can rank the experience à la Uber and if they want, they can give the beauty specialist a cup of coffee, a spa day or a lunch, and corporate will pay for it when they get a certain amount."
The Classen Curve location — where Cos Bar will sit among other lifestyle-type businesses — sits within the company's overall real estate strategy, to focus on street-level locations in lifestyle centers near affluent customers. It worked well for Cos Bar's new Lexington location, Olsen noted. "Lexington has been really strong right out of the gate because of the lack of shopping experience," Olsen said.
In addition to its store rollout, Cos Bar has also brought on Heather Connelly from Space NK as head of buying and merchandising. Lily Garfield, Cos Bar founder and formerly chief merchant, will now be founder and co-chairman. Garfield, a cancer survivor, will be honored at CEW's Beauty of Giving Luncheon by Cancer and Careers.
Connelly was part of the team that built up Blue Mercury before it was acquired by Macy's, before she joined Space NK. She adds more retail expertise to the team, Olsen said (he joined from Net-a-porter in 2016).