CVS opens Beauty360 No.3 in one of its original Project Life stores
NEW YORK — If anyone thinks that CVS has recast itself solely as a healthcare company, given its string of acquisitions in recent years — particularly, Caremark and MinuteClinic — they probably haven’t seen a Beauty360 store yet. In fact, standing in the middle of one of these 3,000 sq.-ft., high-end beauty boutiques, you might have a hard time recognizing you were in a CVS store at all.
Beauty360 is the culmination of the long-time vision and an awful lot of hard work on the part of several key individuals, most notably, CVS’ top merchant Mike Bloom, VP beauty merchandising Cheryl Mahoney, senior beauty category manager Mary Lou Gardner and Mike LePage, director, retail innovations and store design. Importantly, it is also a very bold statement that, for as much energy as CVS Caremark devotes to driving solutions that save lots of money for big payers of health care, it is very much still focused on its stores, and using other areas beyond health and wellness to spark innovation and create reasons for customers to shop their stores.
You want to talk about growing the market basket? How about adding a whole other basket? With prices on many items topping $100, Beauty360’s contribution to overall store profitability is palpable. According to CVS executives, sales in the two other locations the company operates in Mission Viejo, Calif., and Washington, D.C., are well ahead of expectations.
And why wouldn’t they be? No woman in her right mind, with at least a minute or two to spare, isn’t going to check out Beauty360 — particularly in the ritzy neighborhoods the chain is putting the stores in. The average household income in Mission Viejo is roughly twice the national average; in terms of shopping, Fodor’s calls Dupont Circle “a younger, less staid version of Georgetown — and almost as pricey”; and the newest Beauty360 in Ridgefield, Conn., is surrounded by seven-figure homes. Bloom says CVS is planning to a whole bunch of them into the former Longs stores it is currently converting, which includes many more posh areas to pick from.
With just 30 of the stores planned by the end of the year, and about 50 by this time next year, it likely will be a while before the impact of Beauty360 begins to be seen in CVS’ earnings. In the meantime, you can expect sales per square foot to balloon in the stores that share a roof with a Beauty360.
Beauty360 is an important message to its competitors that CVS hasn’t forgotten about the importance of creating excitement in its stores.
Downy launches program to aid hospitalized children
CINCINNATI Downy fabric softener, in partnership with Quilts for Kids, Inc., has launched the Downy Touch of Comfort program, designed to deliver personalized, hand-made quilts to children staying in Children’s Miracle Network hospitals throughout the country.
Chandra Wilson, a mother of three and star of “Grey’s Anatomy,” has joined Downy’s efforts to try and comfort as many children as possible.
“The Downy Touch of Comfort program delivers to children exactly what it says — comfort when kids need it most,” said program spokeswoman Chandra Wilson. “As a mom, most of my life focuses on caring for my children and making sure they are safe and secure wherever they may be. It brings me a great deal of joy to be a part of this program and know that Downy is partnering with these wonderful organizations to help children feel more comforted and at ease in an unfamiliar and sometimes intimidating place.”
People across the United States can add a “touch of comfort” in their communities in numerous ways by visiting DownyTouchofComfort.com to help make a difference in a child’s life. At the site, people can make donations to benefit the program, volunteer to deliver quilts or even learn how to become a local ambassador. In addition, the quilting community can visit the site to request a quilt kit or they can design their own quilt and send it to their local Quilts for Kids chapter or headquarters for distribution.
First-ever music and sound envelopes launched by American Greetings
CLEVELAND American Greetings has announced the launch of the first-ever music and sound envelopes, according to the company.
This patent-pending design has an innovative mechanism in the opening flap, which triggers music or sound to be played each time it is opened. These mailable envelopes allow consumers to add a surprising burst of sound to almost any greeting card. The new envelopes also feature themed designs to create an exciting way to package a greeting card that’s not only visually appealing, but also a lot of fun.
“We know that consumers want to create memorable experiences when celebrating special occasions to show their friends and family just how much they care,” said Mary McClain, new product concepts creative director American Greetings. “Music and sound envelopes are a unique way to customize a song or sound clip to an already carefully selected greeting card and it adds such a wonderful surprise when the envelope is opened.”
Featuring a variety of songs and sounds, the collection has everything to delight recipients, ranging from “What I Like About You” by The Romantics, “You Got It (The Right Stuff)” from New Kids on the Block, and “Happy Birthday” to people cheering and animal noises. The envelopes are perfect additions to any birthday or other festive occasion.
Retailing for $3.49, music and sound envelopes can be found at leading specialty, mass, grocery and drug store channels nationwide. Visit www.corporate.americangreetings.com for more information or store locations.