SHORT HILLS, N.J. — Harmon, a discount beauty store chain, has unveiled a new look here that is anything but budget.
The store, which bowed in May, is a combination of the deals offered in a Costco with the products and ambience of an Ulta. It also pays homage to Harmon’s parent, Bed Bath & Beyond, which acquired the beauty retailer in March 2002.
Bed Bath & Beyond has added mini Harmon departments to many of its home goods stores. In turn, Harmon has expanded its offering of household needs such as garbage cans, shower curtains and storage items.
But what really elevates this new Harmon from past stores — and from other mass beauty merchants — is its fixturing and flooring.
Harmon has always sold items that were a cut above traditional fare. For instance, the chain had professional hair care items long before drugstores and supermarkets entered the fray. Now the chain has a decor package to match the products.
Located in a strip shopping center in this wealthy town, the new Harmon is directly across the street from one of the busiest Bed Bath & Beyond stores in the chain. The Harmon store features a department store inspired window with a large Almay graphic to send the message the store sells beauty.
Once inside, the first aisle is full of snack and candy deals, but it leads shoppers past a mammoth hair care department and into beauty, which takes up the back third of the store. Along the way, consumers are tempted with 40 feet of trial and sample sizes.
Most of the store is carpeted except beauty, which is set off with a wood floor. Harmon makes great use of its peg wall and a large area of displays for new or promotional items. Assistance is abundant and on a recent shopping trip, a reporter was asked several times if there was anything she needed.
The peg wall is Harmon’s own fixture and spans the entire back of the store. The major mass brands such as Revlon, L’Orèal, Cover Girl, Physicians Formula, Neutrogena and Maybelline are presented on the wall. Signs alert shoppers to 30 percent savings on most mass brands. Also, borrowing a tactic from its parent, Harmon is sending out discount coupons to shoppers in its trading area.Harmon also carries a huge display of Styli-Style in a unique spinner rack, as well as products from Prestige and niche items such as a LipStix, a long-wearing lipstick sealer, and Rubiglo — one of the earliest bronzers. The new Bratz collection from Fira is on display for the young set and a collection called Goddess from Fira is also featured on endcap displays. Harmon also sports huge displays of Milani, which is emerging as a brand of choice among multicultural shoppers. Since Harmon devotes more space than traditional mass merchants to beauty, the company can offer more obscure lines.
Despite a decline in sales of fragrances in the industry, Harmon stocks a huge glass case with prestige brands at sharp prices such as Drakkar Noir 3.4 ounce at $33.99 (suggested retail $47.50).
There is an expansive assortment of what retailers report is a hot category — cosmetics applicators and removers. Harmon has hundreds and hundreds of wipes, cotton balls and applicators from companies such as Andrea and NuPore. There is also a huge presentation of salon-quality brushes, including ceramics and boar bristles from J&D Beauty. One entire gondola is devoted to storage cases, train travel cases and plastic cosmetics cases.
There is a well-defined makeup brush department highlighted by products under the Sicara logo. The department may be the best mass market nail presentation in the business. In addition to new lines from Sally Hansen, Harmon has salon brands including Orly and Essie. There is also a full selection of artificial eyelashes headed by products from Ardell.
The off-shelf fixtures are inspired by department stores and include glass shelves and chrome. There are also elegant wooden fixtures that would look at home in an Origins store versus a mass door. When possible, displays are illuminated and products are available for trial — a tactic borrowed from Ulta. For example, makeup mirrors are illuminated so consumers can see that they work. Even power toothbrushes are set up for people to play with. One of the most shopped displays is a full tower of L’Orèal True Match makeup where consumers can look in a full-face mirror to see how the colors match their skin tones.
Harmon also stocks a great deal of drugstore fare such as pain relievers, shaving needs and skin care. What it does not have, however, is a pharmacy. The foot traffic here is solely driven by deals on beauty, snacks and household needs.It is apparent Bed Bath & Beyond likes cross-pollinating ideas between its two formats. The Harmon store here has a large offering of products associated with Bed Bath & Beyond, such as folding clothes hampers. There is also a push for back-to-college sales and the store offers a checklist for students stocking up before heading back to campus.
There are now 31 Harmon stores in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. And although Bed Bath & Beyond, which had annual sales exceeding $4.2 billion, has added the Harmon sections to new and existing stores, it is also opening freestanding units. Bed Bath & Beyond retained Harmon management and the management teams operate out of the parent’s Union, N.J. headquarters.
J.C. Penney finalized the sale of Eckerd earlier this week with 1,260 stores going to CVS and 1,549 stores to Jean Coutu’s Brooks. Now the industry awaits management changes, especially that of any beauty merchants who could be retained by Brooks. With the additional stores, sources suggested, Brooks could use more management strength in the beauty area. Brooks is expected, at least for now, to retain the better-known Eckerd name in existing stores. The shedding of Eckerd is expected to help J.C. Penney put more effort behind building its existing specialty store business.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye