Today’s beauty retail environment carries a unique set of challenges which we define and analyze in our Beauty Retailing USA: Channel Analysis and Opportunitiesreport. We have been busy searching for the latest market trends, retail approaches, marketing strategies, and shopper insights. To get a pulse on what’s relevant, we personally talk to hundreds of industry participants, scan blogs, scrutinize beauty publications, and attend conferences and tradeshows which ultimately empowers our clients’ retail strategies. We speak with Mario, the makeup artist at the Hour Glass counter in Bergdorf Goodman, as well as Sabrina, the skin care specialist, in the Look Boutique at the Duane Reade at One Wall Street. We had our skin analyzed with the lastest technology that measure hydration levels as well as had paraben-free makeup applied with the new fall/winter shades. We learned about the new launch of Anick Goutal fragrances as well as the reasons why the artisan fragrances from the likes of Bond No. 9, By Kilian, and others can command much higher prices than the typical celebrity scent.
We attend many events to learn what experts have to say about the state of the market. Recently, Kline’s beauty industry experts, Donna Barson, and Karen Doskow, attended a panel assembled at the Cosmetic Executive Women’s (CEW) Women & Men in Beauty Series event, held October 25 at New York’s Harmonie Club – an event definitively packed with great examples and strategic insights on what has been and will be successful as businesses emerge from the recession. Key speakers at this event came from retail giants Walgreens and Amazon.com.
For a $48 billion company and a household name such as Amazon, e-commerce is essential. Representing this Internet giant at the conference was Chance Wales, Director – Health & Beauty who noted that the company reaches some 180 million active customers and that for Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, the customer always comes first. With the beauty business growing on this globally famous digital portal, Mr. Wales revealed that the website will be focusing on how to assist customers in discovering and researching harder-to-find brands and products. Admittedly, beauty still accounts for a minute part of the total sales picture for the .com company.
For the even larger giant Walgreens, touching an average six million people every day, some of the latest strategies lay in their partnerships with Duane Reade (read insights on DR here), Beauty.com, Drugstore.com, and most recently with Alliance Boots. Walgreen’s Shannon Curtin, Divisional Vice President, revealed growth in particular categories, such as the nail category (posting a 30% growth in 2011 in the United States, according to Kline), as well as the popularity of BB creams. Both of these categories have been closely monitored and assessed by Kline.
The general consensus at the event was that the prestige business continues to trend strongly this year and that fragrances will continue to grow. Nail polishes skyrocket in all channels of distribution.
The panel addressed many different ways to approach today’s consumers; however, the emphasis was on aligning beauty retail strategies with consumer shopping habits.
For more information, see Beauty Retailing USA: Channel Analysis and Opportunities.
Shopper habits will be brought to you by Kline in cooperation with WSL strategies soon. Watch out for our next mailings!