By and  on January 8, 2010

Television and online retailers said holiday beauty sales outperformed last year’s results but, “It wasn’t easy,” said QVC’s Allen Burke, with the treatment and makeup categories taking center stage. Below, comments from Burke, HSN’s Michael Henry and Drugstore.com/Beauty.com’s Kathleen McNeil on how their respective stores’ holiday beauty sales capped 2009.

Allen Burke: I think it’s fair to say that results were better than last year. It wasn’t easy. Maybe we as retailers are getting better in terms of how good you have to be to excite the consumer. The customer has always been in a situation where they would buy if you were enticing enough…but we are not where we were last year or the year before, and we are not going back there. You have to have great offerings. I think she is tired of the usual stuff that you throw at her — the free shipping and handling, the discount. You have to excite her with product. What emerged as popular was treatment, which normally we don’t think of as a holiday offering but it is very much so in terms of devices. We have had incredible results with Clarisonic and Tria. In classic treatment, we had strong business with Philosophy and Dr. Perricone, and also we had some new entries with Kiehl’s. I don’t mean to leave out color — we were strong in Bobbi Brown, Mally and Laura Gellar. But if I had to choose the place that was the most pleasant, I would have to say it was treatment. We have very high expectations for 2010 with an aggressive plan and would probably say more aggressive than any other retailer including doing something with Kim Kardashian and her fragrance in February, and Ken Paves and his hair line.

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