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Blurring the Boundaries: Shifts in Beauty Retailing

By: Carrie Lennard, Euromonitor International
Posted: November 12, 2010

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Premium-priced hair care brands in the U.S. are targeting mass distribution outlets. Alberto Culver has repositioned Nexxus as a higher-priced mass drugstore brand, having previously been a salon hair care brand. In 2010, Frédéric Fekkai has brought out the Fekkai Classic hair care range to retail through mass channels. The range, which has a lower price point than the company's other brands, was immediately withdrawn from sale by the beauty specialist retailer Sephora following the announcement that the brand would retail in mass channels.

Outlook: Mass Channels to Continue to Outperform Premium Channels

Department stores are set to see a slight return to positive growth by 2011, but overall value sales through mass channels will continue to thrive at the expense of more typical 'premium' channels. Despite this, fear of brand devaluation should stop an influx of premium brands retailing in mass channels. Retailers adapting to the changes in consumer shopping habits should be more prevalent, however.

Carrie Lennard is a beauty and personal care analyst at Euromonitor International. Euromonitor has recently released Lennard's "Beauty and Personal Care: Entering the New Media Market" video presentation. Among the notable brands reaching out to consumers with new media highlighted in the presentation:

  • Estée Lauder acquiring Smashbox, a beauty company which retails primarily online;
  • L'Oréal sponsoring beauty and personal care celebrity Lauren Luke;
  • Many brands starting their own video tutorials on Youtube and Facebook; and 
  • Brands selling directly to consumers through e-stores.