Shashi Batra & Credo Beauty
While consumers today are more aware than ever of what they put on their bodies as well as in them, natural beauty has remained largely the domain of the health-food store. Until now. Credo Beauty, the brainchild of industry veteran Shashi Batra, moved the category into the realm of luxe retail experience, launching online and with a 1,300-square-foot store on San Francisco’s Fillmore Street. The timing couldn’t be better: globally, natural personal-care sales climbed 10 percent last year to almost $33 billion, according to Kline & Co., a figure expected to hit $50 billion by 2019. Credo stocks about 100 brands, including Vapour, Ilia, Tata Harper and RMS Beauty. One of its most popular online features is Healthy Swaps, which suggests natural beauty replacements for mainstream products. While naturals is still relatively small compared to the conventional market, Batra is thinking big: “We are going to differentiate ourselves with merchandise, education and the physical environment, and create a specialty beauty destination,” he said at the opening. “It is what the natural-food markets have done for grocery shopping, except in beauty.”
Group Vice President and General Merchandise Manager, Beauty and Personal Care, Walgreens
In just a few months on the job, Lauren Brindley is making her mark on Walgreens, overseeing the further rollout of Boots’ proprietary brands to 2,000 more doors as well as a test of major Boots beauty branding in Houston. She’s already getting great reviews from colleagues and suppliers alike. “As we increase our focus on beauty and personal care, Lauren brings strong customer-led leadership and industry experience,” said Linda Filler, Walgreens’ president of retail products and chief merchandising officer. Brindley may be new to the U.S. and Walgreens, but she’s no stranger to Boots, where she helped boost the retailer’s market share in premium beauty and fragrances by upgrading the shopping experience and attracting desirable brands. As Walgreens solidifies its hold on the market with its Rite-Aid acquisition, look for Brindley to continue to bring that merchandising magic Stateside.