Q&A: Upscale retail
In this exclusive interview with Drug Store News, Christina Hennington, divisional merchandising manager of beauty for Target, talks about the hottest trends in beauty and how Target is taking beauty to the next level.
DSN: What are some of the biggest trends you are seeing in beauty?
Christina Hennington: Much like last season, this fall a wide-ranging nail assortment continues to be one of the hottest trends in beauty. From vibrant shades by Pixi to python print polish strips from Sally Hansen, the nail category continues to be one of the fastest growing for Target. Skin care is also another area of importance for Target, as we see trends among BB creams, facial cleansing tools and tone-correcting skin care solutions. To continue to answer the increased demand for natural and organic options, Target is continually expanding its beauty aisles to include product lines from premiere natural and organic brands like Yes To and Burt’s Bees.
DSN: With the recently launched Beauty Concierge program test, how did Target select which stores would participate in the program pilot?
Hennington: The Beauty Concierge program is a test, and it launched on July 15 in 28 Chicago-area Target stores. Target continually tests new in-store experiences and programs in order to gather insights that we can use to enhance our guests’ experience. The Chicago area was selected because of its various store formats and guest populations.
DSN: Tell me about the program and what it entails.
Hennington: The concierges are dressed in all-black uniforms with an apron identifying them as a Target Beauty Concierge. They will also wear nametags and have a mirror, a product sample box and an iPad. Concierges are available for approximately 40 hours each week to provide guests with detailed information about products in the beauty and personal care aisles. The goal of each concierge is to help educate shoppers and offer unbiased information.
DSN: What is the future plan for the program?
Hennington: There are currently 14 concierges at the 28 Target stores. The concierge program will be tested for about nine months in Chicago before we can decide whether or not to expand it to several hundred stores across the country.
DSN: What spurred the decision to develop the program?
Hennington: Target created the Beauty Concierge program to build upon the cohesive guest experience the beauty department redesign provides. It also adds comprehensive education and recommendation components that many of our guests want and expect while shopping beauty, and allows Target to offer more specialty/prestige brands that require deeper product knowledge.
DSN: In what other ways is Target revamping its beauty departments?
Hennington: To ensure we’re making good on our promise to provide guests with a unique, differentiated shopping experience, we constantly reinvent ourselves through innovation and experimentation to remain relevant in this ever-changing retail environment. On a continual basis, Target strives to deliver a best-in-class shopping experience for our guests by revamping the beauty department. This will elevate the bar and continue to distinguish us from competitors. The Beauty Concierge program is a perfect example of this elevation. By integrating a premium service with our in-store environment, we deliver on the “Expect More” and “Pay Less” portions of our brand promise. We’ve also redesigned our bath and body aisle to provide Target guests with products like the recently launched Scent Bar and an atmosphere that evokes a pampering experience where they can treat themselves to well-designed, on-trend beauty products at a great price. Specific changes in this aisle include colorful, image-driven signage, testers … and updated assortments to focus on scents, product benefits and well-designed packaging.
High-fashion looks for low cost raise sales
Nail polish continues to be the rock star of the beauty world, and it shows no signs of slowing. A recent report by Packaged Facts, titled “The Nail Care Market in the U.S.,” addresses the robust growth of the nail care market and suggests “several intertwined factors are driving the market.”
“A nail-centric fashion culture has transformed women’s nails into stylish accessories, even as a continuing flood of innovative, fashion-forward nail care products empower women to affordably imitate nail salon effects in their own homes. Therefore, a growing population of women make frequent use of DIY nail care products,” the report stated.
As the economy improves and more women return to salons for professional manicures and pedicures, the DIY nail care segment will continue to benefit. “The data strongly suggest that the reverse will be true,” stated David Sprinkle, the publisher of Packaged Facts. The more women go to salons for manicures, the more they buy and use DIY nail care products.
That’s all good news for mass market retailers and suppliers. As some retailers work to carve out special shelf space dedicated to at-home gel manicure products, manufacturers are increasingly heeding the call with new offerings.
Red Carpet Manicure has developed, just in time for award season, the “Your Fortune Awaits,” a limited-edition shade with four carats of genuine ruby dust in each bottle, exclusively for celebrities and their stylists. And for consumer at mass, there’s the new Draped in Rubies at-home gel polish, available at retail in October.
Nail brand Orly recently announced the launch of Orly SmartGels, an at-home gel manicure system. The SmartGels starter kit is priced at $59.50. The Orly LED lamp is $59.50. SmartGels lacquers, which are available in 12 shades, are $9.95 each.
The nail art craze is now hitting the at-home gel manicure systems. Red Carpet Manicure recently unveiled three new limited-edition nail art kits: Tips and Tricks, French Manicure, and Gems and Jewels. In addition, SensatioNail by Pacific World has developed the new SensatioNail Magnetic Gel Polish and the Glitter & Color Gel Polish duos.
Both Red Carpet Manicure and SensatioNail have developed new gel polish removal kits featuring foil wraps with pre-applied cotton pads for added convenience when removing polish. SensatioNail also has introduced a new Gel Polish Removal Tool, which is made of 100% stainless steel, features an easy-to-hold handle and an angled tip lift, and pushes gel polish away without any damage to the natural nails.
Meanwhile, such nail care brands as Sally Hansen and Kiss Products strutted their stuff on the runways of Spring 2013 New York Fashion Week. Sally Hansen created this season an exclusive gray shade of the brand’s Complete Salon Manicure polish for ICB, a collection for Prabal Gurung for Spring 2013.
Kiss Products tapped celebrity manicurist Gina Edwards to top off the hottest spring looks by applying imPRESS Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails on the models for both the Clover Canyon and Betsey Johnson fashion shows.
The article above is part of the DSN Category Review Series. For the complete Nail Care Buy-In Report, including extensive charts, data and more analysis, click here.
Stimulating away the pain
LAKE FOREST, Ill. — There’s a new option for chronic pain sufferers that ought to spark some growth across external analgesics, including heat and ice packs: Omron’s recently approved ElectroTherapy Pain Relief unit. There are as many as 60 million chronic pain sufferers, according to the American Chronic Pain Association. And of those in search of pain relief solutions, 80% seek more than one type, according to research conducted on behalf of Thermionics. So Omron’s $69.99 transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit should be an adjunctive sale.