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A Tiger by the Re-tail?

By: Karen Newman
Posted: February 12, 2007
Back to the February 2007 Issue

You toil long and hard developing great products, securing raw materials and packaging, and creating memorable point-of-purchase and marketing materials. Yet, at the end of the day, what really matters is getting the product into consumers’ hands—it’s what keeps you up at night.

You know better than I do that among the many challenges testing beauty industry marketers today is the fast-changing retail environment. You may feel safe today, but who knows how the tiger may turn and bare its teeth tomorrow. Throughout the past 30 years in the U.S., family-owned drug, grocery and variety stores have been replaced by hard-bargaining mass retailers and a new generation of specialty stores. Department stores are up and down and up again as they reinvent their spaces and offerings to stay relevant. Did department stores rebound late last year or did mergers just give consolidated businesses better numbers? Now add to the mix the digital-age shopping centers—television and the Internet—and the matter becomes even more complex.

In a two-part report in this issue, GCI magazine takes a look at the ever-changing beauty retail scene. Contributor Priyanka Battacharya—who calls Mumbai, India home—brings us up to speed on that exciting retail market.

The natural and organic personal care market is valued at $5.6 billion in the U.S. Like its conventional counterpart, it has been riding the roller coaster of expanding sales channels. Once largely limited to its core health food store channel, natural and organic personal care now is found in all the channels where conventional brands are found—including spas, salons and mass market retailers. That in itself is a matter of some controversy for this market, as traditional health food retailers fight to hold onto their niche and find themselves denying shelf space to long-time brands that have the temerity to expand into mass markets. Jason Natural, founded in 1959, has more than 200 products in its personal care line, and its products can be found throughout the retail world. Jason—along with Zia Natural Skin Care and Avalon Natural Products, acquired in late December—are part of The Hain-Celestial Group, which also has a huge presence in the natural and organic food market. In this issue, we feature a profile of Andrew Jacobson, president of The Hain-Celestial Group’s personal care division. In the profile, Jacobson reveals his thoughts on the future of the natural and organic personal care market. Don’t miss this important feature. A team from GCI magazine will attend Natural Products Expo West, to be held March 8–11 in Anaheim, California. Watch for our reports from the show at www.GCImagazine.com and in future issues of the magazine.