Asian influence: Korean beauty is the next big thing stocking drug stores’ shelves
Drug chains are editing existing product assortments to clear more space for up-and-coming brands that court back shoppers who may have migrated to specialty stores. Several categories are heating things up in the beauty aisles, especially Korean beauty. Kline research reveals the category is growing at a 30% annual clip, and chains are seeking the right items to introduce more shoppers to the innovative and effective Korean entries.
CVS Is about to have more stores than any other retailer in the world with K-beauty stocked on its shelves. The journey started when its VP merchandising manager of beauty, Alex Perez-Tenessa, took a wrong turn. Always scouting the world for beauty Innovation, Perez-Tenessa found himself off track and ended up in Manhattan’s Koreatown. “It’s difficult to get lost in New York, it is a grid city,” Perez-Tenessa joked. “But I walked into a beauty store and saw products that were different than anything I’d seen from other manufacturers.” The Korean-produced items, he said, were unique because they were fun, sophisticated and high quality.
Recently, CVS linked up with one of the leading experts on K-beauty, Alicia Yoon. Yoon founded Peach & Lily, which started as a website to purchase Korean beauty success stories, but has blossomed into a resource to curate selections for retailers. She’s handpicked about 100 that will be merchandised in 2,100 CVS doors on either a new Trend Wall or in a specially created fixture.
Perez-Tenessa noted that BB creams whet appetites for the imported beauty hits, but he feels the acceptance of sheet masks signaled the K-boom hit critical mass.
The selection at CVS includes a sister brand of Peach & Lily called Peach Slices. There also is Frudia, a waterless fruit-based collection; Elisha Coy with snail mucin; the pore-focused JJYoung by Caolion; and the unique Ariul EGG Collection, which introduces egg oil to America. Rounding out the 4-to-8 ft. sections are other items that haven’t been easy to purchase in the mass market. These include: The Saem natural products; Holika Holika items, such as the whimsically named Pig-Nose Clear Black Head Kit; and masks from Ariul.
CVS isn’t the only chain Yoon has helped move into the segment. She also identified 13 items now in select Target doors. Yoon had been consulting with Target, assisting the chain with sprinkling its mix with the right products. Based on that success, she curated a larger program now in 800 doors.
Dawn Block, SVP beauty and essentials at Target, said, “Peach & Lily is known as the authority on Korean skin care. Bringing this curated assortment to Target provides us with a chance to test new offerings and expand on our positioning as a go-to, credible source for beauty must-haves.”
The attraction to K-beauty goes hand in hand with consumers’ quest for natural choices. Brands once only found in natural product stores are crossing over to mass. Walgreens Boots Alliance, for example, is rolling out The Plant One campaign for its modernized botanics line. The collection also got a repackage and reformulation hitting Walgreens shelves. “Naturals is growing superfast,” said Lyle Tick, managing director at Boots Retail USA. With mounting competition, he said it was time to overhaul botanies.
The latest report published by Kline [in 2016] about the natural personal care market pegged it at $5.4 billion in wholesale dollars in the United States. That was up 9% versus the year before, but it is projected to grow by 40% over the next five years. Hair care is a big category for natural.
To be transparent, many consumers don’t necessarily want — nor can they always find — 100% natural. But what they seek are items with as few harmful ingredients as they can find. Retailers said they would merchandise natural products near general market rather than outdated strategies of plunking those items in natural-food sets.
While much action is in skin care, there’s no denying the sales boost from brows. CVS added Wunderbrow this year, while Rite Aid created an entire brow and lash department. According to IRI, eyebrow makeup sales for the 52-week period ended March 19, in multi-unit doors soared more than 30%. The major companies were quick to jump on the category with brisk sellers on shelves from L’Oréal, Maybelline and Cover Girl. Other volume builders include NYC, Milani and e.l.f.
Clarisonic unveils Sonic Foundation Brush
EDMOND, Wash. — Clarisonic is expanding its product line with its latest launch. The company has introduced its Sonic Foundation Brush, marking the first micro-blending makeup brush from Clarisonic that turns every Clarisonic device into a makeup applicator.
The Sonic Foundation Brush can generate more than 18,000 micro-blends per minute, which the company says can help create an airbrushed, full-coverage look. It has a blend of bristle sizes — thin, soft ones for blending and thick, firm ones for precision — and has nonporous fibers to prevent clumping, Clarisonic said.
In a consumer perception study, Clarisonic said panelists felt the brush took less time and less product to achieve the same amount of coverage when compared to a makeup sponge. Additionally, panelists felt the brush provided better coverage and blending than using their hands.
"Clarisonic invented sonic cleansing over a decade ago and is constantly dreaming up new ways to help people look great and feel confident about the skin they're in. Our new Sonic Foundation Brush is a great way to transform any Clarisonic device – new or well-loved – into a two-in-one cleansing and makeup blending tool that you won't be able to live without."
The Sonic Foundation Brush retails for $35 and is currently available at Clarisonic.com and Ulta.com.
Estée Lauder efforts, new insights point to omnichannel potential of digital try-on
LONDON and NEW YORK — Recent insights and a just-announced partnership between Estée Lauder and virtual makeover app YouCam Makeup are highlighting a way for retailers to create an omnichannel experience for shoppers that keep their phones handy while shopping, but still flock to brick-and-mortar stores.
In March, data from Accenture highlighted the multitudes that the digitally native Gen Z shoppers contain, namely the fact that 77% of them say brick-and-mortar is their preferred shopping channel, even as such digital channels as online and mobile grow the share of dollars they bring in.
These potentially contradictory trends are converging in the beauty space, where one storied brand is looking to capitalize on them while providing virtual resources for shoppers, both online and in-store. In support of the brand’s new Pure Colour Love Lipstick, it is partnering with YouCam Makeup — which has 400 million global downloads, including 4 million in the U.K. alone — to allow consumers to try on all 30 of the lipstick’s shades in real-time through the app.
“As a brand we no longer just sell lipstick. We offer the consumer a unique experience — and YouCam gives us the opportunity to bring innovative technology and a real digital-first concept to the makeup loving millennial,” Estée Lauder president U.K. and Ireland Chris Good said. In-store beauty advisors at the Carnaby Street Selfridges store are complementing the social engagement, showing customers how to use the app to try on the lipstick and its varieties — including ultra-mattes, shimmer pearls, cooled chromes and crèmes — in the store.
“The seamless integration of YouCam’s virtual in-store magic mirrors elevates the beauty shopping experience to a new realm inviting customers to play and experiment with products, discovering the entire Pure Color Love lip collection in a matter of seconds,” Perfect CEO Alice Chang said. “Together with Estée Lauder UK, we are able to provide the ultimate in-store shopping experience of the future.”
And Estée Lauder’s efforts come as such retailers in the U.S. as Sephora bring more virtual reality to their digital and in-store offerings. In March, Sephora expanded its augmented reality experience through its Virtual Artist app, and is making a big push in-store with its Beauty TIP (Teach, Inspire, Play) store format, rolling it out at its largest North American store on 34th Street in Manhattan, as well as at its Fifth Ave. location. The format is centered around the store’s Beauty Workshop space, where customers can learn more about the virtual artist technology at iPad stations.