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Target, E.l.f. Hitting It Off

NEW YORK — Target is one of the latest retailers to differentiate its cosmetics assortment with a dollar cosmetics line — in this case the year-old e.l.f. brand.<BR><BR>The Minneapolis-based retailer has taken on a limited selection of...

NEW YORK — Target is one of the latest retailers to differentiate its cosmetics assortment with a dollar cosmetics line — in this case the year-old e.l.f. brand.

The Minneapolis-based retailer has taken on a limited selection of e.l.f. color cosmetics as cost-consciousness and consumer demand for value have created a market for budget brands, especially in the past two years.

“Target has a focus on more for less,” said Alan Shamah, chairman of Justin Allen, an apparel firm that branched into cosmetics with the creation and subsequent retail launch of e.l.f. last year. “That’s exactly what we’re all about,” he added. “Not more quantity — more quality.”

The e.l.f. items carried at Target, including numerous shades of Hypershine Lip Gloss, Soothing Lip Gloss and Shimmering Facial Whip, were first launched there in January.

In May, a number of additional e.l.f. items, including Brightening Eye Color eye shadow, Brightening Eye Liner and Earth and Water Mascara, will launch there, too.

E.l.f.’s distribution at Target consists of about 1,100 of the retailer’s doors. Elsewhere, the line is carried in about 500 doors, including West Coast retailer Woodman’s, Conway in New York, Essentials and Drug Fair. Also, e.l.f. is “very close” to striking a deal with another major mass market retailer, Shamah noted, in addition to distribution agreements with several regional drug chains.

Including the Target deal, e.l.f. could generate $7 million in wholesale sales this year, according to industry sources, a number that could increase to $10 million next year.

Negotiations are under way with Target to possibly reconfigure the retailer’s cosmetics planogram during the summer in order to accommodate additional e.l.f. products.

“We understand the Target philosophy,” said Shamah, who added that Justin Allen is one of the chain’s main suppliers of private label intimate apparel. “They were very open to understanding our philosophy,” he said of e.l.f. “They felt it was a match.”

This story first appeared in the March 18, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.