Target is out to prove once again that it’s not defined by the mass-market channel.
This story first appeared in the January 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Next month, the retailer will introduce a premium skin-care assortment stocked with seven brands culled from different retail channels and countries.
“In skin care, the needs of the consumer have been changing dramatically, and frankly, the mass-market assortment wasn’t keeping pace,” said Christina Hennington, vice president of beauty and personal care at Target Corp. “We have enhanced what we are offering by providing a broader assortment.” Referring to the Target customer, or guest, as the retailer calls her, Hennington added, “Her perception of what beauty is is no longer defined by the channel she shops in.”
The skin-care collection includes existing lines, such as dermatological brands Vichy and La Roche-Posay, as well as the AmorePacific-owned Korean line Laneige, which will be exclusive to Target in the U.S. market, and Own Skin Health, a San Francisco-based, naturally positioned antiaging range. Also included in the lineup are exclusive brands created in partnership with Target, including a line from Borghese called Borghese Age Defying Cellulare Complex, a bridge brand from Lydia Mondavi called 29 by Lydia Mondavi — her 29 Cosmetics collection is available elsewhere — and a dermatological offering from Minneapolis-based dermatologist Brian Zelickson.
Products range from $8 to $57 in price and will be merchandised in two sections: Dermatological Skincare and Specialty Skincare. The concept will launch on target.com on Feb. 17, and will start rolling out to 749 stores the following month. It will occupy 4 to 8 linear feet.
Zelickson, a Mayo Clinic graduate and director of the Zel Skin & Laser Specialists center, said his relationship with Target developed over the years, as he spent time at the company’s headquarters speaking about skin health as part of melanoma and mole skin screenings. About a year and a half ago, Target called on Zelickson to codevelop a skin-care line and the idea for MD Complete was born. Zelickson has had experience formulating skin care before, working closely with the Aveda brand, and its founder, Horst Rechelbacher, in particular.
“As a dermatologist, I’ve seen skin problems day in and day out for the last 20 years,” said Zelickson. “There are things you can do on a daily basis that have a long-term impact.” His goal, he said, was to create a line that was simple in its approach but yielded clinical-type results. He explained the formulas utilize a technology that can combine active ingredients while maintaining their stability and effectiveness, which in turn requires the consumer to use less products. The collection covers both antiaging and antiacne products and includes a wrinkle reducer, eye cream, cleanser, peel, sunscreen and dark spot remover.
The upcoming premium skin-care aisle is the latest project in what Hennington referred to as a five-year effort to elevate Target’s approach to beauty. Over the years, the effort has included a natural personal-care section and a partnership with the British retailer Boots, which has an assortment of products in all Target doors. In 300 doors, Target has deployed its Beauty Concierge strategy.
Hennington said, “[This concept] builds on work we’ve been doing over time. We want to win in beauty. We’ve invested to win.”