Mass market retailers increasingly are elevating their health and beauty departments to help shoppers look good and feel good — initiatives that are playing out in various forms at retail. To share with readers some of the most innovative efforts currently underway at mass, Drug Store News took a closer look at what's trending now in beauty.
When you look good, you feel good. And to help shoppers navigate the beauty aisles, retailers increasingly are staffing beauty advisers in stores and implementing in-store services. It is a trend that shows little sign of slowing.
Within the mass market, perhaps the greatest example of this is Walgreens (pictured here), which has an army of 26,000-plus beauty advisers across its store network.
CVS/pharmacy also has some beauty advisers in its store locations nationwide. And in its Pacific Palisades store in Los Angeles, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy has opened The Natural Beauty Bar, which offers such beauty services as brow waxing and threading, as well as makeup and lash applications.
Meanwhile, Target has its Beauty Concierge program that the retailer began testing in July 2012 throughout the Chicago area. By October, four more stores were added to the pilot, including the State Street CityTarget. Armed with an iPad, mirrors and product samples, two beauty-trained experts per store, clad in black and wearing a beauty concierge-embossed apron, are on hand throughout various hours, ready to provide advice and help guests. According to Target, the Chicago pilot will run until mid-2013 and will help test the program before a potential 300- to 400-store launch.
Dollar stores are beginning to ramp up their beauty assortments to cater to today's value shoppers rocked by the recession.
In speaking at the 2012 Industry Issues Summit, hosted by DSN, Mike Bloom, president and COO of Family Dollar, described beauty as "an evolution" for the value chain. "If you've been in a Family Dollar lately — at least if you've been in our new prototype — you've seen significant advancement in not just health, but [also] in health and beauty aids. And I think you'll see more. Again, if you think about where [our customer] is in this economy, and how her purchasing patterns have changed over the last several years, she's asked us to carry these products," Bloom said.
Meanwhile, Dollar General also is making a greater push with health and beauty, even promoting beauty on its website.
While it remains in the test phase, Walgreens executives are excited about a new interactive kiosk located in its recently opened Boston flagship store that allows customers to sample a selection of beauty products for $1 each. The kiosk, which was developed by Coinstar, houses product samples from about two dozen different beauty vendors. How it works: You touch the screen to select a category (e.g., fragrance), and the available samples within that category appear on the screen. You then touch the screen to select the sample you want, pay $1 — either cash or credit card is accepted — and the sample is then dispensed.
To give it an extra special touch, the samples even come housed in chic packaging. For example, a sample of Curve fragrance was dispensed in a little black, faux crocodile paper bag.