Report: NYC department stores revamping beauty as competition heats up

NEW YORK — Several New York City department stores are making over their beauty departments in an effort to battle growing competition from specialty retailers, online retailers and even mass market retailers like Duane Reade’s chic Look Boutiques.

According to a New York Times article, Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s Herald Square and Bergdorf Goodman have given their beauty sections a facelift.

For example, The New York Times reports that Saks Fifth Avenue has implemented open-plan counters to encourage shoppers to test fragrances themselves.

While such efforts may be gaining momentum, the reality is that this has been several years in the making. For example, Macy’s announced in 2010 the rollout of Impulse Beauty, a concept featuring an open-sell space of niche beauty brands to complement the traditional beauty counters in Macy’s stores across the country, as previously reported by Drug Store News. The section showcases boutique beauty brands, many of which had not previously been offered in Macy’s stores.

Around the same time, prestige cosmetics brand Clinique unveiled at its Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue location a consumer-inspired concept that enables shoppers to also shop on their own.

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