What are the key categories to keep beauty shoppers coming into mass retail outlets?
Drug Store News spoke with a number of leading retailers, brands and industry analysts who have identified seven categories that need the most attention in order to keep shoppers coming through the front door of those mass chains that want to be players in the beauty segment.
Here is a look at what the experts said mass retailers should focus on as they rebuild or re-emphasize their beauty departments:
Products for wellness are moving to the front burner — whether it be vitamins with immunity properties, aromatherapy or formulas using CBD.
Overall vitamin sales rose a healthy 10.9% for the 52 weeks ended June 14 in chain stores, according to Chicago-based market research firm IRI. Retailers with pharmacy counters are well positioned to leverage their wellness capabilities, experts said. Vitamin D, in particular, has had a rapid ascension as it was linked to fighting off the virus. Supplements with immunity capabilities will continue to flourish, experts said.
The once-dormant nail care category has come to life as nail salons were forced to close during the early stages of the pandemic. For example, for the 52 weeks ended June 14 in multi-unit doors, IRI data said that overall nail sales soared 13.8%, with artificial nail sales ascending almost 32%, nail treatments rising 21% and nail lacquer climbing 8.2%.
Two segments in the hair care space — hair color and products for textured hair —have become monumental profit centers for mass merchants.
Perhaps there is no better example of a category that is booming during COVID-19 than soaps and hand sanitizers. That boom had a halo impact on facial/hand and body moisturizers. Hand sanitizer volume jumped 178%, according to IRI. Liquid hand soap sales also benefited, showing a 36.2% sales increase in the same period. All of the drying out boosted products for hands and body along with sales of facial moisturizers, which were up 18.9%.
Entering the market at a key time is Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble’s Olay Body Wash with Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 and an essential nutrient that contributes to general skin health.
Eye Color and Foundations with Benefits
Overall, there is no denying women have been buying less makeup, especially during quarantine. A recent NPD Group survey cited 20% of respondents plan to wear less makeup even when things normalize.
Celebrities and TikTok Stars
TikTok has become the new breeding ground for beauty trends. People were addicted to TikTok during quarantine, often glued to tips and tricks from TikTok personalities, or learning new dances. Revlon, in fact, tapped Megan Thee Stallion, known for her song “Savage” — a popular backing track for viral TikTok dances — as its newest ambassador. The move looks to capitalize on viral fame as Revlon eyes additional sales generators.
Beauty with a Purpose
Companies with empathy and a stance are expected to be sought out by consumers in the post-pandemic period. Those that converted plants to make hand sanitizer won consumers’ hearts, especially such companies as Coty that donated to front-line healthcare workers. Additionally, more shoppers looked to buy from Black-owned lines as the killings of George Floyd and Brianna Taylor sparked protests and renewed focus on race in America.
Even brands not owned by people of color took a stand.
“From a company-wide perspective, we communicated openly about our corporate diversity makeup, acknowledging improvement is still needed and bolstering or creating diversity councils across our network.”