‘Best thing we ever did’: Fields of Yarrow COVID-19 experience highlights vital role of physical retail

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Fields of Yarrow doubled down on physical retail experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Fields of Yarrow]
Fields of Yarrow doubled down on physical retail experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. [Fields of Yarrow]

Related tags retail Skin care COVID-19

Bali-based Fields of Yarrow doubled down on physical retail experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and was rewarded with its best-performing years, says its founder.

The skin care brand was founded in 2018 by French expatriate Souhela Ferrah. It first started out with a brick-and-mortar store in Canggu before unveiling another in Uluwatu.

While many direct-to-consumer brands choose to start out online, Ferrah was a strong believer in the importance of being offline.

“When the brand launched, I really wanted to focus on our physical store. I wanted to meet the customers, give them the best advice, and from there build our customer base. I wasn’t too focused on online; it was about the shopping experience,” ​she said.

The brand expanded online due to consumer demand three years later, right before the COVID-19 pandemic. “We launched online after the brand was more established with a bigger database and consumers that knew us and knew which products were best for them,” ​she said.

However, even though the pandemic spurred more people to adopt online shopping, Ferrah believed there was an even greater need for personal interactions and launched its skin care studio in Canggu, offering treatments to let people experience the products intimately.

The launch of the skin care studio was an extension of the firm’s belief in staying close and connected with its consumers.

“I believed the studio would work even though a lot of people thought it was crazy at the time. But people wanted a place where they could forget about their problems and the pandemic and just take care of themselves. It also showed them that our products worked. It was the best thing we ever did for the brand.”

According to Ferrah, the brand’s 2020 sales doubled from the previous year. “It has been our best years. Once we launched the studio, the brand totally took off. There was a snowball effect.”

Eyes on international expansion

Now, after five years, the company is now laying the groundwork to expand internationally, building on the momentum and success it found domestically over the last three years.

The brand launched in Singapore as part of its international debut. As part of its introduction into the market, the brand has hosted pop-ups at POP! By Society A and Boutique Fairs Singapore.

“Singapore is the first because it’s the nearest to Bali and the weather is similar. These products were made by Asians – all our R&D team are Asian – so they know they were creating a product for this weather. This makes our consumers feel safe to purchase our products,” ​said Ferrah.

While she believes there is huge potential for the brand to seek growth internationally, Ferrah was cautious about moving too hastily.

There was a lot of thought behind going international. It’s taken me five years to decide as I really wanted to build up from a strong base.I want to focus on where we are needed the most,” ​said Ferrah.

After Singapore, the firm is preparing to launch in Japan and France next year. The potential new market expansions are also influencing the brand’s product development.

“Not all products will work in Japan because they are different people with different skin types and there’s a different environment. So, we will be launching our best-selling products that will work for the Japanese and also launching stuff that will only be available in Japan.”

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