NEW YORK — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ meeting is back as a hotbed of new product innovation.
That’s according to a number of merchants among the 5,700 executives attending last week’s Total Store Expo in Las Vegas. The show has a green light for 2014 in Boston.
Innovation, they added, is more important than ever since products, including nail art and BB creams, ignited sales spikes over the past year.
Manufacturers agreed the format lent itself to new launches.
“This year’s NACDS Total Store Expo exceeded our expectations. Previously NACDS Marketplace typically allowed for only brief top-line business presentations, so this year we jumped at the chance to actually expand our meetings to include demonstrations of all of our existing and new technologies,” said Barry Shields, Red Carpet Manicure managing partner. “That led to many meaningful meetings with both existing partners and many new partners.”
Buyers said the former NACDS Marketplace meeting had dwindled over the years as an incubator for new product activity. But with the debut of TSE, manufacturers saved up launches designed to pull buyers into exhibits. “We launched several product offerings, some of which are new categories for us,” said Dallas Miller, vice president of sales for Allegro, which showed makeup brushes under the Soho Beauty label, and ScrubShop, an entirely new brand of bath accessories.
Chain representatives from Walgreens, Rite Aid and Safeway were among those who engaged in Meet the Market sessions, where many heard about up-and-coming brands. “I was pleasantly surprised with some of the finds I came across during these meetings,” said one senior executive.
Walgreens’ Shannon Curtin, group vice president and general merchandise manager of beauty, said her team found “quite a few beauty treasures.”
One company getting attention during the 10-minute meetings and then on the show floor was Keep It Kind and its youth-oriented deodorant line called Fresh Kidz. The male, female and unisex deodorants are slated for an early 2014 debut and will retail under $5. According to Rochelle Diaz, director of operations for parent Kind2Skin USA, the paraben-, alcohol- and aluminum-free line appeals to moms who still make the buying decisions for the targeted age group of seven- to 14-year-olds. The products already sell briskly in Boots, said Diaz. The company has several other products in the pipeline for the U.S.
Not all of the buzz was generated by newcomers — some of it was from companies with fresh ideas. The TSE booth award went to a perennial favorite Beauty 21/LA Colors/LA Girl. Any company with nail products and skin care was a must see as well, as chains hammer out how many lines of BB and CC creams as well as nail gels and nail art they need to serve demand. New research from Mintel illustrated the impact BB creams have made in the market. Mintel said BB cream launches spiked 50 percent so far in 2013. However, usage levels are still low suggesting there’s much more potential.
“The upturn of BB cream usage is consistent with the staggering increase of new product launches over the past year combined with strong marketing efforts designed to educate women about product benefits,” said Shannon Romanowski, beauty and personal care analyst at Mintel. “The multifunctional benefits of BB creams are broadly appealing, as the majority of makeup wearers agree that multifunctional makeup saves them time, money and allows them to reduce the number of products they use. With the recent emergence of CC and DD creams, the market is sure to continue its upward trajectory.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty