Hot Concepts - Beauty

L’Oréal thinks outside the retail box with intelligent vending machine

L’Oréal Paris thought outside of the box — the retail box — when it unveiled its L’Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience.

Just before the 2013 holiday season, the beauty brand sparked quite a buzz when it launched the first ever intelligent vending experience in the New York City subway system.

Stationed within the Bryant Park subway station between Nov. 4 and Dec. 30, the L’Oréal Paris Intelligent Color Experience worked as a three-step process. It first detected the colors in a woman’s outfit and picked out the most prominent and related color palettes and then recommended L’Oréal Paris products to match before allowing women to quickly and easily purchase those products on the spot.

Eye, nail and lip products from the L’Oréal Paris’ Colour Riche franchise were available for purchase, along with the brand’s mascara innovation, Voluminous Butterfly. The prices were in line with other New York City retailers, and women could buy just one or the multiple products recommended to them.

Shoppers continues to raise the bar with BeautyBoutique

Shoppers Drug Mart has long been hailed for its beauty prowess, but the Canadian company truly is raising the bar on beauty retailing with its enhanced BeautyBoutique concept.

The first enhanced BeautyBoutique opened in November 2012 in a Shoppers Drug Mart store in Bayview Village in Toronto. The second location — featuring 21 prestige brands, as well as new fixtures, digital signage, an enhanced fragrance and derm areas — opened in August 2013 at the Toronto Eaton Centre. The inspiration? A gift box. That’s right; the design was inspired by a gift box and the idea of unraveling a ribbon to reveal the present. And the ribbon concept can be seen in the elements of the store design, including the digital signage wrapped around the boutique and the finishing elements extending over the fixtures to the ceiling.

Pleased with the results to date, Domenic Pilla, president and CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart, said the company may expand the concept to additional locations starting this year.

CVS extends reach of Essence of Beauty with web, mobile sites

Since emerging on store shelves in 2002, CVS/pharmacy’s exclusive Essence of Beauty fragranced bath and body care brand has been one of its top sellers. Now CVS is looking to further reach Essence of Beauty fans — both inside and outside of the store — with a dedicated web and mobile site.   

While the brand has been available for purchase on since 2009, the new dedicated site launched in August 2013 to give fashionistas further insight into the collection’s development and the master perfumers’ inspiration behind each of the new fragrances — Secret Woods, Forever Paris, In the Tropics and Wind Kissed.   

The site also includes in-depth interviews with the perfumers, a scent finder, online-only deals and even downloadable wallpapers for desktops and tablets inspired by its custom fragrances.   

Also new is an Essence of Beauty mobile site, offering select content, like the master perfumer videos. This is the first time that CVS/pharmacy has created a mobile site for one of its exclusive brands.

Rite Aid sets sights on 'Beauty Vision'

Rite Aid has a vision — a Beauty Vision.

The retailer is testing a revamped beauty section, dubbed Beauty Vision. The concept features a wider assortment of brands, a more upscale look and feel and a Beauty Vision adviser who can help shoppers learn more about products and brands.

While the concept is in the testing phase, it does add to Rite Aid’s efforts to improve the beauty section as part of its shift since 2011 to the Wellness store format.

The upscale beauty department offers such premium cosmetic lines as Senna Cosmetics, Girlactik, POP Beauty and Eddie Funkhouser.

In November, Rite Aid held a red carpet celebration at its newly remodeled Wellness store in New York’s West Village neighborhood to unveil and celebrate the exclusive launch of the Eddie Funkhouser line at select Beauty Vision stores. Funkhouser, a makeup artist and product development expert, was on hand to greet guests and provide makeovers.

Walgreens bolsters beauty strategy with Boots No7

Proving to be a robust accelerant to Walgreens’ existing beauty strategy is the 2012 merger with Alliance Boots, which has seen great success with its No7 brand — a top-selling brand in the United Kingdom for face, lip and eye makeup.

Since sealing the deal, Walgreens has been working to bring the best of Boots to America. Today, the Boots No7 skin care line for both women and men, as well as other Boots products, can be found in a growing number of Walgreens locations. In fact, earlier this year the company revealed that it was expanding distribution across its New York City store base, following the successful launch of Boots No7 and other Boots brands in its Arizona market and its flagship stores across the country.

There’s no doubt that the debut to U.S. markets of Boots No7, as well as the Mark Hill Salon Professional hair care line by British celebrity hairstylist Mark Hill, is just a hint of what’s to come.

Target expands skin care offerings to include premium brands


Competition within the mass-market beauty space continues to heat up, and Target is proving that it’s serious about beauty.   

The retailer has staffed hundreds of its stores with beauty advisers and revamped the look and feel of its beauty department, and now it is stepping up its offerings by adding premium skin care products to 749 stores in the United States.   

The brands include Vichy, La Roche-Posay, MD Complete by Dr. Brian Zelickson, Laneige, 29 by Lydia Mondavi, Own Skin Health and Borghese Age Defying Cellulare Complex.   

The premium skin care assortment is part of a department redesign featuring brighter lighting, back-lit signage highlighting product attributes and ingredients, shelving allowing for brand customization and a Beauty Concierge kiosk where advisers consult Target shoppers.   

Based on guest response to last year1s launch of the program, Target has expanded the Target Beauty Concierge program to more than 300 stores across the country, with new markets including New York, New Jersey, San Francisco and Dallas-Fort Worth.   


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