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NEW YORK — There’s an 80-20 rule in mass market cosmetics that Grant Berry, founder of Styli-Style, is about to shatter.
This story first appeared in the February 13, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The theory that 20 percent of the inventory produces 80 percent of sales isn’t realistic anymore, Berry suggested. It isn’t because the sales ratio has changed — rather it’s because retailers can’t justify having a majority of stockkeeping units that don’t sell. In a less competitive retail landscape, merchants could afford to offer the wide array of colors and brands to prove they “were in the business.” Now, every stockkeeping unit has to sell itself and the name of the game is managing inventory and boosting turns. Berry has edited his own mix by 33 percent, from 177 sku’s to 119.
He credits drug chain powerhouse CVS with giving him the new direction and sku performance after working with the chain’s executives on programs over the past two years.
The lean and mean Styli-Style is more focused on the core and briskest sellers. But another outcome, Berry said, is that the pared-down line is easier for retailers to accommodate and fit into stores for tests. Styli-Style is carried by chains including CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, Fred Meyer, HEB, Navarro, Harmon/Bed, Bath & Beyond, Pharma Plus and 1,500 over-the-counter beauty supply stores. There are also more than 30 international distributorships in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.
While Berry said it is too early to have a number on the productivity of the reduced mix, he expects a “serious increase in turn.” He added, “That is our goal and is vital for retailers in this present economy.”
Products are organized under function, such as 24-hour power items, which include a new Line & Seal 24 Twist pencil, Liquid Liner 24, Nano Liner 24, Flat Liquid Liner 24 and a Flat Liner 24. Also under the 24-hour franchise is a new Browtint, a Brow Liner and a unique Shadow 24 with a cream-to-powder formula in a pen form. Another classification includes Special Effects items such as a new Liquid Glitter, Liquid Metal for eyes and four shades of Colorlash mascara. Styli-Style was the creator of the flat pencil, which remains a staple for many makeup artists and a favorite of consumers for its ease of creating a line around eyes.
Blendable Innovations with mineral therapy is where items such as Kajal Bullit, The Original Flat Pencil and a new Smokey Eyes pencil are grouped. While many beauty companies make minerals a major story of their lines, Berry has added them as an enhancement.
Finally, Styli-Style is making an all-out assault on the lip category. “Matte looks are growing and we have a new Timeless Lipstick Demi-Matte,” said Berry. Not only does the item provide a stylish matte look, he said, but it also uses ingredients to moisturize and rejuvenate lips. There are new formulas for the Lip Stains and new Plastique Lipglosses for those who still prefer a glossy look. “We’ve added holistic ingredients to our lip products, which make you feel good and look younger,” said Berry.
Styli-Style always has been known for its impactful displays as much as its items and Berry is introducing a fresh concept he calls Styli Pods. The pods are the actual displays with the items that can be popped in and out of the display, and Berry calls them more dramatic than universal fixturing sets for the peg wall. They can be placed on a counter as a prepack or inserted into towers that can be in-line or freestanding. A spinner rack is also available to hold multiple pods. Berry feels the pods are easier for consumers to shop, and simple for retailers to use. “We’ve also designed them to have more room to convey the product function, and the testers and item numbers are very visible,” Berry explained.