GENEVA — To rev up its sales engine, P&G Prestige Products is at the ready with a plan to revolutionize the in-store experience.
After studying the fragrance industry for two years — a research project headed by Carolyn Tasted, vice president of global prestige products, market development organization, P&G Prestige Products will unleash its ideas on its retail partners in Western Europe and the U.S.
Though Tasted wouldn't go into details on the new methods P&G Prestige Products would employ, she said the solutions were meant to add verve to the consumer's shopping experience. It is also hoped the plan will blow some innovation into cluttered beauty retail spaces.
"What we are trying to deliver is going from the current environment, to when the consumer walks in the store [and says to herself,] 'This environment is tailor-made for me. I know where to go and it feels special.' I think the fragrance category has lost some of its specialness," said Tasted.
When pressed to describe where P&G Prestige Products' new strategies fit in the process of buying a fragrance, Tasted offered two tactics.
The first, alignment of particular brands together in-store: "The consumer thinks about certain groups of brands similarly. How do you think about grouping those brands in ways that the consumer more understands and connects with them versus randomly?" said Tasted.
Another approach was to give the consumer — who de-selects what he or she doesn't want upon entering the store — navigational cues to streamline the de-selecting process. "How do you use the brands and the imagery in the store to take away so you know where to go to?" added Tasted.
Among others, these policies, claimed Tasted, would be adapted and tailored differently to P&G Prestige Products retail partners. "It has to reflect the retailers equity, it will never look like a P&G solution."
In Italy the P&G Prestige Products revitalization plan seems to have already kicked off. Department store chain Coin, which is in the process of giving its 40 stores a facelift, told WWD it worked with P&G Prestige Products in a new way to launch Gucci by Gucci.Paolo Valerio, category manager of beauty and wellness for Coin, said a test run for the launch accompaniment strategy took place in the Rome and Brescia stores in late November. Valerio explained a "Gucci fragrance expert" with a microphone gave a 15-minute speech about the fragrance to customers in the department store's perfumery space, explaining the scent's olfactory pyramid and allowing prospective buyers to sniff its notes.
"It went so well, customers stopped what they were doing and went over to the presentation podium and listened intently. We sold about 2.5 times what we would normally sell on a fragrance's launch day," said Valerio. "We certainly will be doing this next year," he added.
Coin's simple sales technique underlines other nuggets of information Tasted gleaned in the course of the research, which she reckoned to be the biggest global fragrance study. According to P&G Prestige Products, 70 percent of the purchase decision is made in the store, 59 percent of shoppers leave the store without buying and 100,000 samples are given out in each door annually.
"If the store environment is difficult, it's challenging for the consumer to shop in. If you eliminate the barriers, then your launches, your brands and your initiatives have more room to grow. They can breathe," said Tasted.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast