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Natural Opportunities in Mass Retail

By: Lisa Doyle
Posted: March 3, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The Herald Square Look Boutique is staffed full-time by a team of beauty advisers, and serves as a model for future locations as well. By the end of 2010, Duane Reade expects to open 15 more Look Boutiques in new or remodeled outlets.

On Target

Target will ring in Spring 2010 by introducing a plethora of naturally focused personal care lines. “New offerings include Green by Nature, Jason, J.R. Watkins, Kings & Queens, Lavera, Nature’s Gate and Softlips,” says Michaela Gleason of Target Communications. “These personal care products are free of the following synthetic ingredients: parabens, phthalates and sodium lauryl sulfates, and none of the products are tested on animals. This expansion further delivers on Target’s ‘Expect More. Pay Less’ brand promise while providing a fun, convenient shopping experience and access to thousands of highly differentiated items.”

In addition, each store will market these products’ location as its own natural beauty haven near the more mainstream beauty lines. “As a true beauty destination, Target strives to offer accessibility to the most sought-after and often hard-to-find beauty brands to its guests,” Gleason adds. “The naturals offerings can be found in the beauty and personal care products area, grouped together in a naturals products section.”

Gleason notes that, due to market preferences, not every store will carry all of the newly offered brands; however, Target plans to offer some of these products on its Web site as well. “Our goal is to always be in stock with the products our guests want and need,” she adds. “If a guest is unable to find a product, a team member within our store can identify the product a guest is looking for and find the nearest store that has it.”

Across the Pond

The mainstreaming of natural personal care products certainly isn’t unique to the United States—Europe has seen a marked increase in the natural and organic personal care market, with revenues projected to reach €2 billion by the end of 2010, according to market research firm Organic Monitor. To keep up with demand, many mainstream retailers are introducing natural and organic personal care products under their private labels, shifting the sales away from the specialty apothecaries. Natural beauty products are now easily found in supermarkets, hypermarkets and drugstores. This is especially apparent in Germany, where Organic Monitor has found that the natural and organic personal care market has reached 5%.