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The next beauty destination? The grocery path The Business of Beauty, BoF Professional

NEW YORK, United States – Imagine a world where shoppers can buy high-end moisturizer and vegan almond flour tortillas in one place.

What started as a quirk of pandemic closings – this spring, grocery stores were one of the only options this spring to buy cosmetics or skincare products in person – could become a more permanent feature of the beauty parlor landscape.

Most Sephora and Ulta Beauty locations are open again, as are beauty salons for department stores. But beauty brands are looking for new distribution channels in case the lockdowns return. They also hedge their bets as beauty stores attempt to attract customers without being able to offer testers and other pre-pandemic draws. SpaceNK, a luxury beauty salon in the UK, said in June it would close its US stores.

Target and major drugstore chains were already upgrading their beauty trails before the pandemic hit. But beauty insiders speculate that supermarkets, which have long been in the category, may be the next hot selling channel.

Historically, supermarket beauty trails have been filled with staples like shampoo and shaving cream, as well as inexpensive makeup. However, this is changing as supermarkets are among a handful of essential retailers ready to take advantage of the ‘one stop shop’ mindset that consumers have adopted. Even if there is no lock, the behavior can linger if the supermarket beauty selection is convincing enough. If people can get their products and base in one place, why not?

Pixi Beauty, a skincare brand best known for its exfoliating Glow Tonic, recently launched HEB, a supermarket chain in Texas. The brand has always worked with a wide variety of retailers, including Ulta and Sephora, as well as Target, Kohl’s and Walgreens. Supermarkets were a natural next step, said Felix Strand, president of the brand.

“There’s room for beauty in every type of store,” said Stand.

HEB, along with Kroger, another major grocery chain, Wegmans and Whole Foods, is poised to push into the beauty category, said Kevin Spight, a consultant.

Whole Foods, in particular, has seen certain categories in its beauty and care section since March, including face masks (the ones that beautify your skin, not the kind that protect against viruses), bath accessories, hair color, and nail polish, said Amy Jargo, global category manager for beauty at the retailer.

There is room for beauty in every type of store.

The Amazon-owned grocer has always offered beauty products, but sees an opportunity as a “one-stop-shop” when consumers want to make fewer trips to stores. Best-selling items include Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap, Naturtint Permanent Hair Color and Dr. Hauschka Rose day cream.

“We are really focused on the categories that matter most to our customers today,” Jargo said of items that have grown in popularity as a result of the pandemic. ‘[We’re] ensure that we have a good inventory position. “

Whole Foods’ reputation for selling organic and sustainably sourced foods fits well with the current trend towards’ clean ‘beauty products. Her customers have previously been interested in ingredients and where food comes from, potentially making them receptive to beauty brands that use natural ingredients and minimal packaging.

An annual Beauty Bag program will evolve into more frequent beauty events throughout the year, Jargo said. Every March, Whole Foods sells a ‘beauty bag’ filled with $ 100 of seller’s favorite products for just $ 20 – and it always sells out within hours. Whole Foods has also long maintained a list of ingredients that cannot be used in beauty products it sells, although it has not branded this policy as “Clean at Sephora” or “Conscious Beauty at Ulta Beauty”.

But for Whole Foods or other supermarket chains to become the next Sephora, they have to work on how to present their beauty products.

“They’ll have to figure out ways to create experiences in those stores that still make them feel very premium,” said Lucie Green, a predictor and founder of consultancy Light Years.

I don’t know if you’ll ever see a Diptyque candle sold in Duane Reade.

Consumers may have adopted a high-low mindset, but it will take more time to convince the prestigious labels to start selling somewhere where the beauty category is seen as a place to get vitamins and holistic health remedies.

“I don’t think there’s any resistance to buying a (YSL) Touche Éclat, especially if it’s topping, at a drugstore,” Greene said. When it comes to luxurious beauty, it is increasingly popular to top up on Amazon, she noted.

Greene added, “I don’t know if you’ll ever see a Diptyque candle in Duane Reade.”


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