When it comes to removing unwanted hair, waxing is a proven methodology, and European Wax Center (EWC), a wax-centric US franchise, continues to expand by leaps in and bounds in this growing category.
Having opened its first location in January 2004, there are now more than 219 centers operating in the US with another 157 expected to come onboard in the coming months. In 2011 alone, EWC recorded 1.66 million customer visits and YTD has had more than 2 million customers walk through its doors looking to shed unwanted hair from head to toe.
As those millions of women (and men too) will attest, waxing delivers quick results that last longer than tweezing or shaving, but it can bring some momentary pain and occasional redness that sometimes lingers a bit longer.
Wax specialists at EWC had been using ubiquitous hydrocortisone to soothe the sting and cut down on the irritation, but the firm recently developed its own Calming Cream. The new formulation is being integrated into the chain’s Four-Step Comfort Wax System that cleanses, protects, waxes and rejuvenates the skin.
“After vigorous research we believe we have come to a solution that reduces redness and irritation specifically after waxing services have been performed,” EWC co-founder and CEO Josh Coba told *Happi.
Designed to soothe red and irritated skin after tweezing or waxing areas of the face, the cream contains ingredients such as aloe, olive oil and Brazilian seaweed extracts that neutralize and moisturize the inflamed area so clients “can enjoy their smooth and hair free skin quicker than ever,” said Coba.
When used after waxing areas such as eyebrows and upper lip, it allows guests to head out the door after the procedure without worrying about redness or irritation.
Coba worked with a “pharmaceutical grade lab with more 50 years of expertise” to develop the calming cream, which complements its existing product line. EWC has its own Post Waxing Exfoliate, Slow IT Body Lotion, Slow IT Body Wash, Ingrown Hair Serum, Shape It and Restore It, which are used by wax specialists during treatment and are sold to customers.
A Calm Balm: EWC's Calming Cream.
“All of the products are designed to be purchased and used by our guests in the comfort of their own homes. The European Wax Center products help our guests prepare for waxing reservations, appropriately treats skin between reservations and treats the skin immediately after. Collectively, our product line can be used all year long to achieve optimal results for smooth and hair free skin,” said Coba.
The firm has recently launched its own tweezer to ensure estheticians are armed with the best tools. And customers can purchase them too for “in emergency situations between waxing reservations,” said Coba.
According to company officials, ECW’s retail products sales were $5.4 million in 2011 (roughly 11% of total revenue), and 2012 results are expected to nearly double.
That kind of revenue stream is enticing, and as such, the firm is developing even more products. In the pipeline are three different shades of brow powder that can be used to “fill in holes in the eyebrows and give anyone’s eyebrows a more finished look,” said Coba. The powders will be sold as duos, which will allow the customer the ability to customize the powder to their exact shade.
“The powder can be applied dry for a natural appearance or wet for a more dramatic effect,” added Coba, who expects the brow powders along with two brow brushes and combs, to be released in February 2013.
In addition to NPD, EWC is also expanding its reach internationally. Canadian expansion is in the “final stages of development” with its first center expected to be open by the end of 2013, said Coba. The firm is also looking to move into the European market as early as 2014.
“Our company is charging into 2013 with significant growth, both in the past and on the horizon, and will continue to offer all guests, both men and women, superior hair removal services at an extremely affordable price,” said Coba. “’Waxing for All’ is not just a thought, it’s a mantra that will lead us into greater success in 2013.”