By  on October 13, 2011

While there aren’t any freestanding Harmon stores outside of the East Coast, that doesn’t mean shoppers have to live there to experience the discount health and beauty aids retailer.

Parent company Bed Bath & Beyond has been inserting Harmon’s HBA mix into its other retail concepts, including Bed Bath & Beyond and Christmas Tree Shops, in the form of branded in-store shops. About 120 Harmon and Harmon Face Value in-store monikers now operate and about 20 to 30 more are on track to be added annually.

Shortly after it acquired Harmon in 2002, Bed Bath & Beyond, which declined to comment on its approach to spreading Harmon, began testing in-store shops at large Bed Bath & Beyond locations in New Jersey, with Harmon footprints that could cover more than half of the size of traditional Harmon stores. Harmon operates 46 full-line stores averaging 5,000 to 8,700 square feet, which are predominantly located in strip centers in Connecticut, New York, Florida and New Jersey.

Nearly 2,800 miles from Bed Bath & Beyond’s headquarters in Union, N.J., a Harmon Face Values has been dropped into a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Los Angeles’ Westside on Olympic Boulevard. Like the other Harmon stores, the buying staff in New Jersey, notably senior health and beauty care buyer Vince Vanvourellis and cosmetics buyer Leslie Kindig, curate its merchandise.

The Bed Bath & Beyond in L.A. has a Harmon Face Values store-in-store consisting of approximately 13 aisles situated near the check out at the front of the store. The wide-ranging selection runs from natural products by the likes of Alba, Nature’s Gate, Out of Africa, Yes to Carrots and Jason, to bath and body by Crabtree & Evelyn and Bodycology. Leading drugstore cosmetics and hair care brands such as L’Oréal, Revlon, Maybelline, Cover Girl, Almay, John Frieda, Pantene and Herbal Essences are represented extensively, as well. The store also has an entire wall of travel personal care.

Perhaps particularly because it’s a commodity that Angelenos are unfamiliar with, Bed Bath & Beyond is using Harmon’s discount positioning to woo customers to its Harmon Face Values HBA selection. Signage in the section reads, for example, “We will not be undersold.” Harmon has been known to strategically price its products below its more recognized drugstore competitors.

Scott Friedman, chief executive officer of NYX Professional Makeup, a cosmetics brand that’s headed to Harmon within Bed Bath & Beyond’s New Jersey stores in Iselin and Totowa, said beauty is a good fit for the chain’s shoppers. “I’ve heard a lot of people were surprised to see there is beauty there, so it is a great way to have an extra ring.”

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