Exclusive Q&A: Heyday Plots Nationwide Expansion
Heyday is out to carve its own unique niche in the $100 billion skincare market.
The brand, whose self-described mission is to take the facial “out of the spa and into people's lives,” hopes to redefine the industry by providing its customers with regularly scheduled facials as part of their health-and-wellness maintenance routine. Targeting millennials and Gen Z consumers, Heyday offers personalized facial treatments based on each customer’s skin condition in an inviting, non-intimidating environment. It also sells skincare products.
Earlier this year, the company closed a $20 million series B round of funding led by Level 5 Capital Partners (L5), which also become an anchor franchisee for the brand. L5 has committed to opening 40 locations during the next five years.
Heyday currently operates 10 locations in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and New York City, all corporate-owned. But as the company works towards an ambitious goal of having 300 locations up and running in the next five years, its future expansion will be fueled largely by franchisees.
Chain Store Age spoke with Heyday’s president of franchising, Sean Bock,about the company’s new business strategy, its plans for the future and more.
How does Heyday stand apart from other skincare and facial treatment providers?
Heyday is on a mission to shake up the $100 billion skincare industry through educational programs and technology to help modernize the way people get facials. We make the facial process easier, more affordable and more accessible to customers – especially millennials – with flexible appointment booking, personalized products and services and engaging content to help clients better understand, and treat, their skin.
Additionally, unlike other one-service-fits-all providers, Heyday estheticians assess the customer’s skin during each visit in order to deliver personalized treatments based on each clients’ individual needs and recommend specific products to help treat specific skin needs.
Will all new locations be franchised or will it be a balance of franchised and company-owned sites going forward?
Moving forward, Heyday will have both corporate-owned and franchised locations, with the majority of the locations owned by local franchisees.
What entered into Heyday’s decision to expand through franchising?
The biggest factor was an observation that local franchise partners could do a better job of supporting their team of estheticians to create an amazing experience for all of our clients. We've created an amazing customer experience in New York City, LA, and Philadelphia, but we recognize that it gets infinitely more difficult to replicate this experience unless you have a vested partner in the local market.
Are you still committed to opening 50 stores during the next five years via the agreement with Level 5? How many locations overall do you see the potential for?
Level 5 Capital recently closed on a deal to open 60 Heyday units opening across the country. Those units put the brand on pace to meet its goal of opening 300 units in the next five years, the majority of which will be owned by new franchisees.
What is the real estate strategy in terms of target locations?
We are looking to target areas that have a cluster of businesses and services that cater to health and wellness. Our clients are focused on taking care of their skin and they tend to commit to eating well and working out frequently.
Many service-based businesses are expanding in malls and lifestyle centers. Is that something Heyday is considering?
We will have an open mind on all opportunities across the country.
What’s the store environment like? What is the average size?
Our stores have a modern and inviting environment and our largest goal is to convey to potential customers that we are accessible and unintimidating. This is not your parent's day spa. On average, our stores are generally 2,000 sq. ft.
About how many SKUs do Heyday stores offer?
We carry about 10 to 15 brands that account for about 50 to 60 SKUs. Approximately 80% of our products cannot be found in an Ulta or Sephora and we're proud to have exceeded our goal of carrying more than 15% of black-owned brands.
What type of programs, services, etc., does Heyday offer digitally? Is that an area of expansion going forward?
We have very large goals in regards to our mission to continue to support our clients' skincare needs even after they leave our shops. That means that we provide guidance and support through our website (heydayskincare.com), direct messaging, and an app that we are currently finalizing to be launched in the coming months. We don't see a division between our e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses.
The past year was a rough one for many retailers. What’s your biggest takeaway and/or lesson learned from it?
This year, we learned that more people are willing to invest in taking care of themselves both physically and mentally. Everyone is searching for guidance on how to take care of their skin. There is a lot of noise in this space and yet there is no one leading, and objective, voice.
We believe that we can be that voice to provide guidance on how best to take care of your skin, using the right products that are geared for your personal needs.