DALLAS -- Texas women are turning to drugstores for their beauty products more and more as an alternative to shopping at department stores, area drugstore merchants claim.
With little or no advertising, drugstores have been able to rack up sales gains of 5 to 30 percent in the cosmetics category.
The retailers pointed to competitive pricing, convenience, offbeat brands unavailable elsewhere and personal touches such as free delivery as the factors giving them a sharper edge.
The drugstores also noted that they are increasingly staffing their stores with full-time beauty advisers.
Body and bath products and the sun, nail, hair and skin care categories are proving most alluring to consumers, retailers said, with the color and fragrance businesses trailing the pack.
Cosmetics sales are up 30 percent year to date at Dougherty's Airway Pharmacy, a drugstore at Preston Royal strip shopping center here, said Kelly Cowman, beauty buyer.
She attributed the gains to the store's product mix and customer service, which includes free delivery and cash-on-delivery service. Except for vendor promotions and clearance tables, Dougherty's does not discount products.
"We attend seminars offered by vendors to stay current on the latest in the industry," said Cowman. "We want to be competitive."
Treatment is the leading beauty category at Dougherty's, with products containing alpha-hydroxy and other acids and minerals most popular.
Best-selling lines include Korfs, a treatment brand from Italy formulated with vitamin A derivatives; MD Formulation, an acid-based line; Roc, a German line geared for both dry and oily skin; Ahava, an Israeli line containing minerals from the Dead Sea; Alpha Hydrox from Neoteric Cosmetics; L'Oreal's Plenitude, and skin care offerings from Elizabeth Arden, Ultima II and Revlon.
A remodeling at Dougherty's about two years ago added additional counter space for body and bath products, which Cowman said are perennially popular.
Hot vendors are Perlier, Ben Rickert, Vitabath, Klorane and Upper Canada, which also makes aromatherapy products stocked by Dougherty's.
Top color lines at the store include Elizabeth Arden, Ultima II, Revlon, L'Oreal, Allercreme, DuBerry, Covermark and Dermablend.
At the Village Pharmacy, a drugstore in the upscale Highland Park Village strip shopping center here, beauty sales are trending up 30 percent over last year, said Wilhelmina Von Heflick, cosmetics manager."Our customers range from preteens to senior citizens," said Von Heflick. "Part of our draw is our diverse product range."
As an example, she listed skin care bestsellers: La Via Lattea, an Italian milk-based line geared to teens; Kalemata, which focuses on the eyes; Soins Complice; Elizabeth Arden's Alpha-Ceramide; Aida Grey; Almay, and L'OrÄal.
The store will stock Plenitude's new AHA-based treatment line, set to make its debut this month.
The Village Pharmacy also recently launched Plenitude's new treatment line with sunscreen called Protective Daily Moisture Lotion, which is available for different skin types.
Von Heflick said sun care is of prime concern to customers here in light of the hot, sunny climate.
She said moisturizers and hair care products with sunblocks are among the hottest items in the store, as are self-tanners, citing Elizabeth Arden's self-tanners, Self-Tanning Cream from Aida Grey and Rene Furterer's line of hair mousses, masks, conditioners and shampoos for sun and after-sun use.
Color cosmetics sales at the Village Pharmacy are also following the sundial, with light and nude shades selling quickly.
"My customer isn't buying the darker colors because she wants to look more natural outdoors," explained Von Heflick.
Fast-moving color lines are Elizabeth Arden, Aida Grey, Revlon and L'Oreal. Revlon's Nude lipstick and Arden's Bare lipstick are particularly popular.
Von Heflick said she views department stores as her prime competition and she prices accordingly.
"I don't want to be perceived as a discounter -- I don't typically mark things down unless it's part of manufacturer's offer," she noted. "I want to be competitive. This isn't a grab-it and go to the cash register store. We spend lots of time with customers because we want them to return."
Von Heflick said she personally tests each product that is stocked, adding, "If I don't try it, I don't sell it. It's a way to build trust."
The store also carries a wide array of fragrances as well as nail, hair and body and bath lines.
Highland Park Pharmacy, an 82-year-old store located in the tony Dallas suburb of Highland Park, attracts a moneyed customer.Although one-third of its total business is generated by an old-fashioned soda fountain, owner Thel Bowlin said the store has a beauty business that's ahead 5 percent against last year.
Bowlin said the store's beauty advisers and personal services such as in-house charge accounts and free delivery are enticing more business.
The top beauty category at the store is bath and body, with Perlier, Vitabath and Caswell-Massey among the bestsellers.
The leading color lines include DuBerry and Revlon. The best-selling skin care line is Roc.
At Greenberg's, a drugstore in Preston Center strip shopping center here, treatment, nail care and bath and body are driving the business, according to Sue Pressler, beauty buyer. Pressler said cosmetics sales overall are ahead year-to-date.
In treatment, Greenberg's best-selling lines are L'OrÄal, Revlon, Max Factor, Allercreme and Almay. In-demand bath and body brands include Taylor of London, Perlier, Vitabath and Neutrogena. Barielle nail care items are also fast checkers.
Greenberg's stocks mostly classic fragrances for women, including Maja and 4711, and mass brands for men such as Cody's Stetson and English Leather.
Pressler noted, "Location is everything to our beauty business. Other malls and department stores are very close, so we have to stay competitive in price and offer top service."
Eliza Gholson, a beauty sales associate at Country Club Pharmacy in Dallas, echoed Pressler on the importance of easy access for customers.
"Customers like to shop drugstores for beauty for the convenience," she said. "They can pull right up to front door, make the purchase and be gone. They also like the individualized service."
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