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CEW Panelists Assess Beauty Retail

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: December 15, 2010
CEW’s Women in Beauty series

From left to right, Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst, The NPD Group; Marla Malcolm Beck, founder and CEO, Bluemercury, Inc.; Sharon Rothstein, senior vice president, marketing, Sephora USA; and Nancy Schmidt, vice president, divisional merchandise manager cosmetics – trend & prestige, Macy’s; discussed beauty’s top categories in today’s marketplace at CEW’s October Women in Beauty series event.

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“We present the product, for example Bumble & Bumble, and also connect [the product experience with consumers’ stylists]. So that is an interesting partnership,” said Rothstein. “Sephora wants to offer great differentiation with great marketing, and social media playing a new role.”

Malcolm Beck noted that today’s consumer has already done a lot of research before they buy. “Many women come in and have already diagnosed their skin, so they know what they want.” There is also an emotional reaction to certain products, she noted, citing the natural and organic sectors as adding growth to the beauty arena. “You not only hear about naturals and organics, you see it in the sales. Growth has been tremendous,” she said.

The panelists agreed that experiential consumer connections were integral to beauty. “It’s really about the product story itself, what it delivers and its point of difference. That’s what the story has to be about,” said Rothstein.