ECRM Webcast: Brick and Mobile — The New Beauty Retail Experience
ECRM will host a free live, interactive webcast Tuesday, May 23, 2017, at 2 p.m. EST, with Perfect Corp. — makers of the YouCam augmented reality beauty app — to discuss how beauty brands can leverage mobile to engage the Millennial and Gen Z consumer.
During the live, interactive webcast, Kristi Vannatter, director, business development for Perfect Corp., and Wayne Liu, GM and VP business development for Perfect Corp. will discuss how retailers are creating an omnichannel experience for socially savvy shoppers through the integration of mobile virtual reality features in stores, introducing the next generation of brick-and-mortar, including best practices to keep retailers ahead of this curve.
Topics to be discussed will include: Enhancing the in-store user experience; exploring the omnichannel potential of digital try-on; the future of beauty retail and AR; and the power of influencers and social sharing.
The May 23 webcast will be followed by a live Q&A with the presenters.
To register, click here.
Custom ECRM filter
Perfect Corp. will also be launching a custom ECRM filter for ECRM's Skin, Bath, Cosmetics and Fragrance EPPS, slated for June 4-8 in Las Vegas, which ECRM attendees can use to post selfies using the hashtags #ECRMbeauty and #YouCam. Staff from Perfect Corp. will be on-hand to educate attendees on the use of the app and how it can be applied to their brands.
Full speed ahead: Retailers find color cosmetics, skin care and bubble bath alluring
Mass market doors might not be the prime destination for all beauty products, but there are market wedges the channel dominates. An example is color cosmetics, where brows and lashes are leading the charge to attract shoppers. Bath sales are also bubbling again as drug stores wrest customers away from mall-based specialty stores, while also nabbing licensed hits that score big with parents. IRI tracked double-digit increases in the category over the past year.
Drug and discount stores also have managed to lure customers away from specialty and department stores to their doors for skin care. Cleansers and moisturizers in particular posted major gains, while specialty and department stores were held to low single-digit increases. Retailers credit better technology now flowing into the mass skin care business, including more better-for-you options.
And the future in all three of these market segments looks promising.
Eye on cosmetics
Retailers said it is full speed ahead for the second half of 2017 in color cosmetics. Brow volume is expected to continue to arch upward with innovations — such as Maybelline Brow Drama, L’Oréal Brow Stylist Definer Eye Brow Makeup, e.l.f. Eye Brow Makeup, Rimmel Brow This Way and NYX Micro Eye Brow Makeup — setting blistering gains often hitting triple digits. CVS also reports strong interest in Wunderbrow, which was added to the assortment late last year.
The attention to eyes has a halo effect on overall cosmetics, retailers said, encouraging them to add more brands.
Walgreens is not only expanding its elevation project to 1,000 more doors, but also installing NYX, one of the most buzzed about brands in beauty today. The L’Oréal-owned professional makeup is shipping 663 SKUs to 2,000 Walgreens’ doors in the United States and Puerto Rico, to be completed by this fall, and also is launching on Walgreens.com with 640 SKUs.
“The addition of NYX products to our cosmetics selection is a key component in our multiyear, multiphase initiative to elevate the beauty experience at Walgreens,” said Lauren Brindley, group VP and general merchandise manager of Walgreens. “NYX will be one of several lines getting testers at the chain.”
Growing at breakneck speed is Milani, now sold at CVS, Target and Walgreens. Retailers singled out the Moisture Lock Lip Treatment as a fast seller, a fact confirmed by IRI data, which showed the product growing 276% for the 52-week period ended March 19, across multi-outlets.
Walmart is putting muscle behind color cosmetics, too. In addition to being first out of the gate with many big brand launches, the companies’ own brands are hitting their stride. Hard Candy continues to attract value-oriented and on-trend shoppers. Flower by Drew Barrymore is performing up to its true potential, according to Maesa’s CEO and founder Gregory Mager. Launched in 2013, Maesa and Walmart have worked diligently to fine tune the line. Also this year, Walmart turned to Maesa to launch P2 nail polish, available in 22 colors and priced at $2.97.
Target is adding not only a popular color choice, but also one with better-for-you properties to boot. The chain recently added Honest Beauty to its existing collection of products from Jessica Alba’s The Honest Co. The lineup includes 30 products — and 17 additional products, including shade extensions, on Target.com — ranging from facial cleansers to crème blushes mostly priced under $35. Up until now, Honest Beauty, introduced in 2015, was sold online and at Ulta Beauty in the United States.
And Ulta Beauty scored perhaps the biggest coup with its deal to add MAC Cosmetics to about 25 stores in June, following a launch on Ulta.com. By the end of the year, MAC should be in more than 100 Ulta Beauty doors. Estée Lauder views distribution in Ulta Beauty as the chance to expose MAC to shoppers who haven’t previously had access to it before. Ulta Beauty’s Dave Kimbell, chief marketing and merchandising officer, said MAC is one of the most requested brands by the retailers’ customers.
Skin care in the game
While color clicks along, skin care is undergoing a major metamorphosis in mass doors. Consumers demand better-for-you formulas, prompting chains to require brands to put ingredients under the microscope.
Small and nimble brands — many created with natural positioning — are seen as ahead of the game. But the big brands are working overtime and will face the challenge of convincing consumers that their products are truly more natural. Retailers will be busy moving around items to integrate natural into the conventional merchandising set. The general consensus, according to Mark Tritton, EVP and CMO at Target, is that it’s best to merchandise in one area so customers can make their own decisions rather than have to dart between natural and general market.
Retailers are serious about what’s on their shelves. CVS announced it would remove chemicals, such as parabens and phthalates, from its private-label beauty and personal care products by 2019. The move impacts more than 600 items and is one of several health-oriented moves the chain is making. Earlier this year as Target broadened its better-for-you beauty assortment, the retailer promised that by 2020 it will ban phthalates, propylparaben, butylparaben, formaldehyde, formaldehyde donors and nonylphenol ethoxylates from beauty, personal care, baby care and household product formulations.
One hundred percent natural in beauty isn’t a mandate. Rather, according to Lyle Tick, managing director of Boots Retail USA, the goal is to be as transparent as possible with ingredients. That was a goal when Boots recently rebooted its Botanics line, which Tick said was simplified to make it easier to shop.
Natural positioning has been the hallmark of several brands that have generated positive sales growth in the mass market, such as Skinfix, Sundial and Yes To Inc. Ingrid Jackel, the CEO of Yes To thinks there is a fertile opportunity with more than 50 million shoppers ready to take the more natural plunge. She said her reinvigorated brand, bursting with new innovation, is bringing in customers new to the natural market.
Skinfix also has the enviable position of being the first dermatologist-recommended, clinically proven brand that also counts itself as natural. The brand’s positioning as a derm-supported and natural collection has earned it shelf space in CVS, Target, Shoppers Drug Mart and Ulta Beauty.
No kidding around
Like other segments, natural is becoming more critical in the bath category. For example, Éclair Naturals recently embarked on a major digital campaign to tout its positioning. As one part of the initiative, women are asked if they know what propylene glycol is and if they would feel comfortable bathing in it. Their answer is a resounding “no” once they hear it is a component in engine antifreeze, and that many bath and body products use it. That’s part of a campaign, called “Never Any,” kicked off by the company.
According to Éclair Naturals’ co-founder and CEO John Matise, Europe banned 1,400 chemicals, Canada nearly 600 and the United States only 10 in the last decade. To help inform consumers about Éclair Naturals’ positioning, the company tapped a celebrity makeup artist, Joanne Gair, to adorn models with messages applied in plant-based ink. The messa-ges on their bodies pledge the formulas never use GMOs, parabens, soy, animal-derived ingredients, polyethylene glycol, petroleum, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, synthetic colors and synthetic fragrances.
The “no harsh ingredients” movement also helped Village Naturals, Sundial, Burt’s Bees, Kneipp and Dr. Teal’s. The latter has posted meteoric gains as consumers flock to the therapeutic powers of Epsom salts.
At the other side of the spectrum, juvenile bath is a solid performer paced by popular licenses and the venerable Mr. Bubble. And now comes another icon — Play-Doh. Walmart and Toys “R” Us are first in the tub with a bath soap resembling the beloved modeling compound and a 3-in-1 hair-care item. By the end of April, Play-Doh was expected to be in 8,000 doors, en route to 25,000 stores by year-end. The popular license is being produced by Townley Cosmetics. “We thought it was a good time to get into the bath business,” said Abie Safdieh, Townley’s CEO. After surveying the competitive environment, he got the idea for a Play-Doh theme.
Artificial eyelashes, adhesives provide plenty of flair
Artificial eyelashes are an important accessory for many celebrities. Among those accenting their eyes with a little help from lashes is Naomi Watts. According to her makeup artist Mary Wiles, Watts has worn Ardell Double Flare Lashes.
Celebrities aren’t alone when it comes to donning fakes. Sales of artificial eyelashes packaged with adhesives rose 31% to $157 million, according to IRI data for multi-outlet retailers for the 52-week period ended March 19. Eyelash adhesives kicked in another $30 million and showed growth of 24%.
With consumers, especially millennials, learning tricks from social media, they are becoming more comfortable applying their own artificial eyelashes. Several brands offer online tutorials, too. Virtual reality apps also assist consumers to “try on” lashes. While professional eyelash application is a growing trend, many women prefer “faking it” so they can have myriad looks.
American International’s Ardell brand is the leader in both the combination lashes and glue and separate glue categories, according to IRI data, with Natural False Eyelashes and Adhesives, which clocked a 174% growth rate for the 52-week period ended March 19, as a top performer.
“The current trends that we are seeing in lashes are beautiful multidimensional lashes with silky soft fine-tapered fibers in uneven lash lengths that blend beautifully with natural lashes,” Jennifer Johnson, senior brand manager at Ardell Retail, told Drug Store News. Additionally, the company said Invisible bands that provide comfort and a seamless look that make the lash band virtually undetectable, even without eyeliner, are popular. Ardell’s version is called “Invisiband.”
The company plans to keep sales on the uptick with two new collections: Faux Mink and Mega Volume.
Faux Mink are premium, hand-crafted layered lashes that create a lush, multidimensional look. Placed on Ardell’s Invisiband for a seamless look, Faux Mink lashes feature knot-free silky-soft, lightweight fibers, and finely tapered tips.
Ardell has a patented “Never Flat Curl Technology,” ensuring that each Mega Volume lash has a unique 3-D effect, stretching beyond the limits of most lashes. “The tapered tips have a C-curve for maximum drama, lavishly long lashes that extend in multiple lengths that mimick natural lash growth and triple layered fibers that stack and stagger for the fullest lash volume without excess weight,” Johnson said.
Other leading brands in the lash category include Kiss, Eylure, Salon Perfect (a Walmart exclusive) and e.l.f.
The lash frenzy isn’t lost on retailers. Rite Aid has a full display devoted to lashes. CVS offers Latisse lengthening in some locations, along with a supply of artificial lashes. And, Ulta Beauty makes a major statement in lashes with more than six brands.