Q&A: World of success

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Pacific World is a provider of nail care products and beauty accessories and sells its products in more than 85,000 doors in more than 80 countries. Joel Carden, EVP of Pacific World, recently talked with Drug Store News about what has led to the global beauty company’s success and how it continues to achieve growth through retailer partnerships, innovation and mergers.

DSN: Pacific World is known for its category management and ability to provide insights and analysis. What sets Pacific World apart from rivals when it comes to category management?

Joel Carden: It is going to sound basic, but I really think that the key to success in category management is a true understanding of what the consumer wants and what the consumer is communicating. We do this through both insights and data to help the retailers sort through information to provide them the best possible shopping experience for their consumers based on the knowledge that we’re able to accumulate. In this process ... trust between the retailer and category partner is really critical. ... There are a few steps to insure that the category management process is maximized for each retailer. This includes: A clear understanding of each specific retailer’s departmental goals and objectives. We want to make sure that we don’t approach category management for each retailer as a cookie-cutter approach. ... And we want to combine consumer insights (forward view) with the analytical insights (historical view) in an objective manner. ... Of course, once you make the recommendations and implement the recommendations, you want to make sure there’s a process by which you measure results and make adjustments as needed.

DSN: For 2012, the company has brought to retail its new SensatioNail gel polish. Why is SensatioNail an important launch for the nail segment at mass?

Carden: SensatioNail is a great example of an idea that had taken off in the salon industry, and we were watching it carefully because we believed it was a huge opportunity for the mass market. ... The opportunity was to provide the mass market consumers with a DIY approach to what the consumers were experiencing in the salon with great results but for a fraction of the cost. We were well aware of the salon trend and were watching it closely in conjunction with working closely with our vendor partners to ensure that we could achieve the best possible result. ... It includes LED lights, which cure the gel polish, and it was crucial that these LED lights worked well with the polish formula. ... Fortunately, we were very successful with achieving great results and, most importantly, we were successful in achieving a “first to market” with this product.

DSN: In October 2011, Pacific World merged with the W.E. Bassett Co., which is a supplier of beauty implements. Why was this merger important and what does it mean for Pacific World?

Carden: The merger really allowed us to bring two very good companies together to make one great company. The combined expertise of both companies working together today is much more powerful than either company, by itself, could have been. Additionally, it places Pacific World into a significantly more important role for all of our top retailers. We are either the No. 1 or No. 2 provider of total nail care products and beauty accessories in most, if not all, of the top retailers in the United States and internationally. It places us in a very strong position to really provide the key elements of best practices to our retail partners, including, but not limited to, innovation and category management.

For the full audio Q&A, click here.

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