EUROPEAN SPA MAGAZINE, JUNE 2018, UK
Menu Sali Flores, Natura Bissé
INTERVIEW BY IAN PARKES
There has been a considerable buzz surrounding the growing portfolio of luxury Spanish skincare brand Natura Bissé, particularly since the recent launch of its Inhibit Face-Lift. The company, which has a global presence in more than 2,000 spas, 75% of which are located in Europe, first introduced itself to the UK and Ireland over 15 years ago via retail positioning in Harrods and Space NK stores. However, in the last four years, it has expanded from a presence in just a handful of hotels to be found in 26 hotel and day spas across the UK, including iconic properties such as Pennyhill Park, Surrey, and The Grove in Hertfordshire. A further two locations in Ireland include the Barcelona-based brand’s most recent placements in luxury spas at Ashford Castle, Co. Mayo and The K Club, Co. Kildare. With the Natura Bissé empire set to further expand in future with the opening of its first flagship retail store in central London, we ask managing director Sali Flores, who has overseen the company’s growth in the UK and Ireland, to outline her vision.
How important are the UK and Irish spa markets to Natura Bissé?
We have always believed they are crucial due to their association with luxury and quality. We felt that to expand our business we had to build the brand in this region. London is also one of the key global capitals of beauty, skincare and luxury, and we decided if we were to play a role in the luxury skincare market then we needed to have a stronghold in the UK and Ireland. We are now in 28 properties and the plan is to continue with this. We are developing more of a presence, including the creation of our first flagship store in London.
What makes Natura Bissé stand apart from its competitors?
We are about passion, which stems from the owning family and what they have put into the business. We also spend a considerable amount of time on detailed research and development, ensuring we understand the needs of our customers.
We truly feel each person’s skin has its own needs, so we combine our experience in spas, our direct touch with consumers, and our incredible innovation and creativity, to develop a differentiated product range that delivers amazing results.
It’s what we call the ‘wow factor’ of Natura Bissé. We are about quality, not quantity. We don’t sell numerous different kinds of products every year. Our target is to develop slowly, and to be mindful of the needs of our customers. Finally, I am proud to say that with time and investment we now have a very strong UK team in place.
What are your team’s particular strengths?
Although Natura Bissé has been in the UK for around 15 years, in 2014 we decided to put our own team in the UK to increase our presence, not only in retail, but also in spas; so I see us as very much a young company – almost like a start-up. This means everyone is having to work hard to build the brand and develop the business as we want to. Overall, we now have a mixture of amazing commercial experience in the world of spa, with young, energetic and brilliant online and marketing talent supported by an incredible UK-based team.
Tell us more about your pending first flagship store in Europe.
It’s a very important part of our future. We decided that in order to develop our business we needed a strong presence in London, which everyone looks to when it comes to luxury and premium brands – not only for skincare but for a range of different brands. The store is something we are incredibly excited about, and if it works well we may replicate it in different parts of the world.
What role will your new headquarters in Barcelona play in this continued expansion?
Work is due to be completed by January 2019 and I’ve been to see the development; it is four times bigger than our current headquarters and it looks amazing.
We will have even greater capacity to manufacture and deliver all our products in-house.
We already do this and that is great as it means we are in control of the entire process, from taking delivery of the ingredients, through the manufacturing process in purpose-built laboratories, right up to the distribution of those products to our customers. The whole system will soon be even more streamlined and efficient, and that can only help with our growth.
Opposite from top: The Diamond Collection stands at the top of Natura Bissé’s product range; the brand’s extensive research and development aims to deliver superlative quality for its clients; The Grove, in Hertfordshire, UK is among Natura Bissé’s partner spas; control and quality are key to the brand’s exceptional production process
Forbes’ recognition of superior quality
At the end of 2017, Natura Bissé became the first skincare brand to be officially and exclusively recognised by Forbes Travel Guide, the only independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. Forbes CEO Gerard J. Inzerillo deemed Natura Bissé “not only has a superior product, but its determination to provide the customer with an experience and luxury service is absolute”. The Spanish skincare experts have long taken pride in delivering a range of superior quality products and treatments; at the top of its range is the Diamond Collection, which incorporates a combination of exclusive ingredients, including Artemia Salina. However, Sali Flores claims that what puts the brand at the forefront of beauty innovation is “not only the product, but the experience we offer to our partners”. Supporting this claim is Natura Bissé’s Mindful Touch spa experience, which provides a revolutionary beauty ritual that includes the use of virtual reality. Meanwhile, the brand’s Bubble Pure Air offers an exclusive treatment environment in which clients breathe in air that is 99.995% pure.