Saks Fifth Avenue has become an American institution — a symbol of luxury and wealth, with one of the most iconic storefronts in the country. Known for stocking designer fashion labels and high-end beauty brands, it might seem like an odd place to find cannabis-derived CBD products. Nonetheless, now you can.
In a move that surprised many and impressed others, Saks has decided to create a dedicated CBD beauty space within its stores. In May, the brand launched The Salon Project by Joel Warren’s CBD Beauty Corner in its New York City flagship location. The Salon Project, which offers clients holistic CBD services in cosmetics, hair, and skincare, already operates in three locations across the country (Long Island, Miami Beach, and Boca Raton).
Warren, who began using CBD products to help with his difficulty sleeping, said he was thrilled to partner with “an iconic institution of fashion and beauty.” As he told Forbes, he believes that CBD has a much larger role to play in the natural beauty and wellness spaces than is currently believed, but that creating a high-end customer experience is key to unlocking this potential.
“There are a lot of layers to fully understanding the benefits of CBD products as a new consumer in the space,” said Warren. “It can be confusing and overwhelming for those curious to try and we want to be that safe, zen space you can come to where we will ensure the best personalized beauty experience possible.”
Saks isn’t the first posh retailer to add CBD products to its shelves. In March 2019, Barneys New York made a similar move by launching “The High End” cannabis shop in its Beverly Hills flagship store. Beauty giant Sephora also stocks a wide range of CBD and cannabis beauty products across its stores now.
Industry analysts have high hopes for the luxury cannabis beauty market, and many expect it could soon become a crowded one. “We have seen a high level of interest in cannabis beauty from retailers over the past month [and] expect further retailer developments in the coming months,” said Erinn Murphy, senior research analyst at Wall Street firm Piper Jaffray.
The introduction of CBD beauty products may seem like something of a deviation from their usual luxury brands, but all signs indicate that Saks’ new offerings will come with the same five-star pampering its customers have come to expect.
The spa-like CBD services will include the “Going Back to Cali” CocoCanna hand massage and the “Take Me Back to Woodstock” Salome Roll On by Highborn, which comes with transdermal patch from Mary’s Nutritionals. There will also be a suite of VIP treatment rooms where customers can avail themselves of full-length salon services.
According to Saks, all of the staff at the new “shop-in-shop” store will be thoroughly trained to have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of each of the products available to purchase, as well as of CBD and the legal cannabis space more broadly.
Aesthetics will also play an important role. Evie Phillips, the founder and creative director of Creeds Collective (and a CBD Beauty Corner partner), was charged with creating a sensory experience that sets the tone and guides customers towards the right products.
“By creating an experiential ‘shop in shop’ with beautiful branding, leading formulations and tranquil treatments, we get to be your CBD connoisseurs, guiding you through a journey that will surprise you throughout the year with new brands, events and innovation,” said Phillips.
The range of products themselves that customers can choose from is as vast as it is luxurious. Brand names include some of the best-known in the CBD skin care and beauty business, such as Tonic, Mary’s Nutritionals, Undefined Beauty, Kana Skincare, and CocoCanna (among many others).
But shoppers won’t just find anti-aging serums and CBD retinol creams on the shelves. They’ll also have a choice of CBD-infused wellness products designed to tackle everyday complaints such as insomnia, anxiety, and pain.