L’Oreal Paris to shutter U.S. retail stores


NEW YORK Less than five years since opening its first retail store in Los Angeles, which was soon followed up with a second East Coast location, L’Oreal Paris has decided to shutter both locations on Feb. 28.

"Our two U.S. retail stores located at Beverly Center in Los Angeles and at Westfarms Mall in Farmington, Conn., created a unique retail experience that allowed us to experiment with innovative merchandising concepts and new forms of communication to the consumer. We are now exploring new, alternative venues to reach consumers," L'Oreal Paris wrote in a statement sent to Drug Store News. 

In a letter e-mailed to L’Oreal customers, the company wrote: “All of our customers are an inspiration to us and we thank you for your patronage and the time you have spent with us here at the store. We appreciate your loyalty to the brand and look forward to you continuing to enjoy our products. Please note that L’Oreal Paris products can be found at all food, mass and drug retail outlets.”

Looking to better understand its shoppers and their buying habits and, in turn, improve merchandising at drug and mass, L’Oreal opened in the first half of 2005 its second U.S. retail store in Westfarms Mall. The first such location opened in the Beverly Center Mall in 2004.

The bright, spacious 2,000-sq.-ft. store at Westfarms Mall, which was visited by Drug Store News shortly after its opening, offered shoppers the luxury of browsing the entire L’Oreal collection in one location, where trained beauty advisers were on hand to assist them. Aside from helping shoppers find the right product, the advisers offered makeovers, and, through an in-store computer, could use cyber-imaging technology to see how a specific hair color would look on a consumer.

The products were priced at the high end of what a local retailer would sell them for so as not to undercut any drug or mass retailers. The manufacturer stressed that it opened the stores not to become a retailer, but to learn more about its shoppers. As a reflection of that mission, the company commonly referred to the stores as “Living Labs.”

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