The retailer Beauty Brands — now under the direction of former Ulta Beauty chief executive officer Lyn Kirby — is adding numerous labels to its assortment as it vies for a larger share of the beauty business.
Kirby, who holds the title of ceo and who is part of a team that bought a controlling interest in the company last year, is taking advantage of an opportunity to upgrade the selection, said industry observers. She executed a similar strategy while at Ulta, expanding the assortment from drugstore fare to premium brands. The timing is fortuitous, as a handful of retailers, such as Henri Bendel, are exiting the beauty category.
Among the lines shipping into Beauty Brands are Laura Geller Beauty, St. Tropez, Supergoop, Essie, FAB, ColorProof Evolved Color Care, Pink Pewter, Luxe Hair and Bio Ionic. With a goal of attracting more men, Beauty Brands is also adding men’s grooming products and tools from Towel Dry and Andis. To round out the expanding beauty assortment, Beauty Brands, a 56-store chain, is putting in a new line of cosmetics bags.
While Laura Geller and Essie are well-established brands, a handful of the new lines are up-and-comers. One example is Supergoop, an antiaging UV protection skin-care range co-owned by Maria Sharapova. ColorProof Evolved Color Care is a complete line of professional luxury products designed exclusively for color-treated hair. Bio Ionic hair tools and styling products are designed to harness the power of natural negative ions to straighten, smooth or style any type of hair without damage. And Luxe Hair offers high-quality, clip-in hair extensions. Pink Pewter is a line of hair accessories designed to transform looks in minutes.
Beauty Brands is the largest of so-called “middle market” beauty retailers emerging as a breeding ground for new brands or expansion of established lines. Beauty suppliers think these stores have the potential to grow as large as Sephora and Ulta. Collectively, they present an alternative for brands that have been hard-pressed to make inroads in the specialty channel. Beauty Brands stores range from 6,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet and include a full-service salon and spa and retail area. Beauty Brands also is adding more of its Studio stores, a store-within-a-store concept including more prestige makeup and skin care.