Location is everything, even in a mall. Take the recent addition of Kiehl's Since 1851 at Arden Fair. The skin-care store, which officially opened Friday, sits quite close to both Nordstrom and The Art of Shaving.
Chris Salgardo, president of the Kiehl's division of L'Oreal, told me the company has been looking for the right spot at a Sacramento mall for three years. He also told me that men now make up 30 percent of Kiehl's customer base.
"Men are buying more than they ever have before, even in a recession, and we continue to see a lift in men's business even when other areas of the business were dropping," he said.
Kiehl's new home puts the brand within view of men already predisposed to buy skin or grooming products and also not far from a department store that can refer customers.
To make male customers comfortable, Kiehl's has created a destination space for them in its stores, and the Arden Fair store is only the fifth Kiehl's in the nation to have this design.
"They look like the old-school lockers in a 1950s gym, and then we created a station called The Shave Bar," said Salgardo, a Merced native who often visited Sacramento as a child. "And what's important about this is that regardless of where men are buying their products, they always enter and always start by shaving."
Big shifts in art world
There was a time when art appraiser Brian Witherell spent his days finding pieces of art for wealthy collectors, but that business dried up amid the downturn of the last five years.
"When the market was really strong five years ago, there was less product on the market so you needed to know somebody who'd been in the business, who knew where the product was, so that they would extract the product," he said. "... Now, there's a flood of product on the market."
A generational shift is playing out among art collectors as seniors in their 70s and 80s are divesting themselves of long-held family heirlooms or their own collections or both, Witherell told me. His clients tell him, "My kids don't want this. Why am I storing it?"
In other cases, baby boomers inherit pieces that don't fit their contemporary tastes, so they hand Witherell the keys to the house and ask him to take care of it.
Technology is another factor that's transforming Witherell's world, as online auctions allow collectors around the world to see and bid on pieces that sit in his office in Sacramento's Boulevard Park.
"We've sold Russian art back to the Russians, so the global economy has changed in the sense that those countries are now successful and wealthy and repatriating their artifacts, so that's changed," he said. "Our ability to connect with those buyers has really transformed, so once where we would sell less than 1 percent out of the country, now we sell 15 to 20 percent of our items out of the country."
Witherell and his part-time appraisers also use the latest technology to assess their client's possessions, taking iPads to homes from Carmel to Redding, Incline Village to Mendocino County. Using the FaceTime videoconferencing feature, they can "walk" one another or another expert through a home. If that fails, they snap a picture and text it.
Witherell's next online auction begins at 9 a.m. Tuesday and ends at 9 a.m. May 7. The 300-plus items, including works from Gregory Kondos, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany, are displayed at www.witherells.com.
An educated consumer ...
Go deep Inside Business with yours truly and Karin Sinclair at 9 a.m. May 18, when I moderate a question-and-answer session with the Placer County rancher. Sinclair will answer questions such as: Do grass-fed cattle really eat only grass? Why do some small ranchers, including Sinclair, opt not to become certified organic? Why does Sinclair think that everyone should have a couple of chickens in their backyard? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for the tour. Sinclair Farm Day begins at 11 a.m. the same day with sheep shearing and herding demonstrations. Register at the email above. ...
The free AccessToCare Fair opens up a world of products, resources and services to consumers who are elderly or who have disabilities. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Bayside Church, 8191 Sierra College Blvd. in Roseville, just north of Douglas Boulevard.