CVS Pharmacy is determined to shout its commitment to its beauty business with an ambitious marketing program that will mushroom in June from pervasive in-store merchandising to culminate in direct-mail and newspaper advertising.
WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy is determined to shout its commitment to its beauty business with an ambitious marketing program that will mushroom in June from pervasive in-store merchandising to culminate in direct-mail and newspaper advertising.
The national drugstore chain will usher in the campaign, called Reinventing Beauty, by dressing its 6,200 stores in teal signs hanging from the ceiling and protruding from shelves.
The Reinventing Beauty campaign follows a four-year effort to improve the beauty shopping experience in CVS stores. Since 2003, CVS has cleared space near the pharmacy for Healthy Skincare Centers stocked with European brands; struck an exclusive partnership with the Finnish beauty line, Lumene; added proprietary lines, including Cristophe Beverly Hills hair care and Skin Effects by Dr. Jeffrey Dover, and aligned itself with Boots of the U.K.
The drugstore also continues to grow its beauty advisers program and plans to dispatch 1,000 of them to over 600 stores by the end of the year. With much of the heavy lifting out of the way, Cheryl Mahoney, vice president of merchandising for beauty care, said the time was right to tout CVS's strides in beauty.
"We focus on knowing who our customers are and what they want," said Mahoney. "The customer tells us she loves to shop for beauty at CVS."
Mahoney, who joined the chain in 1980 as an assistant manager in cosmetics, said the retailer's circular advertising, which began in the mid-Eighties, was what "started to bring beauty to life at CVS." CVS's circulars, unlike those of many of its competitors, were designed to tell a story about products and their benefits. The retailer has continued that evolution ever since, placing beauty near the entrance and rolling out its Life Format, a store layout with lower shelves to facilitate shopping for women, who make up 80 percent of its customers. "Through our consumer research, we found that our average consumer is 5 feet 4 inches tall, so we made the shelves in the Life Format 60 inches high," explained Mahoney.
It's that kind of insight, along with frequent market visits throughout the U.S. and aboard, that has helped to form CVS's approach to beauty, noted Mahoney. She added that the CVS management team, lead by chairman, president and chief executive officer Tom Ryan, saw the value in beauty because of the growth and profitability of the category.
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