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CVS plans Beauty 360 concept stores

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Pharmacy is taking beauty to a new level with the planned opening of a new concept store dubbed Beauty 360.

The first Beauty 360 location is expected to open by the end of the year next to one existing CVS store on the East Coast, and another on the West Coast shortly thereafter, but CVS executives have not elaborated on the rollout strategy.

The units, which will range between 2,500 and 4,000 square feet in size, will carry 32 lines of skin care and cosmetics plus a number of fragrances. While the brand names have not been released, CVS executives have described the lines as “department or specialty store brands.” CVS is also considering offering such “express services” as manicures and hand massages within the stores, which will be staffed by sales associates who receive commissions but will sell across all brands.

The stores are expected to either be housed in an adjacent store, accessible to shoppers via a breezeway, or located in a separate store within a CVS store.

While beauty has always been a core aspect of CVS’ front-end offering, this new concept will likely help the chain better compete with such specialty stores as Sephora and Ulta.

Over the years, CVS has worked to leverage itself as a beauty destination. CVS made waves in 2003 when it opened its first Healthy Skincare Centers, which are beauty boutiques that sell European brands. The centers are staffed with trained beauty advisors who provide customers with a personal consultation, skin analysis and product recommendations.

Exclusive product offerings have also helped the retailer stand apart from the competition. Over the years, it has inked exclusive distribution deals to offer such lines as Lumene from Finland and Boots of the U.K. It has also developed proprietary lines including Skin Effects, developed in partnership with dermatologist Jeffrey Dover, and, most recently, the 24.7 Skincare line.

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