RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — CVS may be taking its beauty department motif from faux blond wood to soft lavender-blue.

A new CVS prototype, referred to by executives as its "store of the future," opened here in February. The entire store has been color-coded by category designed to make it easy to shop.

Beauty’s area has been colored lavender-blue, which is reflected on peg walls and signs. The carpeted beauty area is also highlighted by many illuminated fixtures, including the department’s lead-in display, an island unit that is set aside for color launches. As part of its plan to keep beauty at the door, cosmetics is the first department customers encounter upon entering the store. The cosmetics assortment includes mainstay mass brands like Physicians Formula, Almay, Neutrogena, Cover Girl, Maybelline, Revlon and L’Oréal. There are also products for younger shoppers such as Bonne Bell, f2f, Skaffles and other niche brands. CVS’ Grl Lab, its teen department, is much different here than in other CVS stores. Instead of having its own display, the Grl Lab merchandise is incorporated into a fixture, sharing space with other product categories.

Absent in this store, a high-volume unit in an affluent area, is CVS’ own Essence of Beauty cosmetics line. Essence of Beauty bath, however, gets its own home, and its new Perennials fragrances are prominent.

Curved gondolas achieve a more upscale look, but might not be continued since the configuration holds less product. Also, CVS might not use as many lighted displays — a costly endeavor. Some displays use a brushed metal look with a wooden base for a prestige appearance. Overhead aisle markers in the beauty department continue the blue look, as do shelf strips. Throughout the beauty area, round markers (also blue) are used to designate product sections such as Salon Hair Care, Shampoo and Conditioner and Specialty Hair Care. Salon hair products are also on an illuminated display.

The other areas in the store are food-seasonal and pharmacy. The food area is large and defined by gondolas positioned horizontally to the front of the store. There is also a wood floor to differentiate the area. The site formerly housed a Grand Union, so CVS maintained a large grocery area."CVS’ store of the future is a great example of manufacturers and retailers working together to reinvent the mass shopping experience, which is a key area of opportunity for the industry," said Marc Pritchard, vice president global cosmetics and personal care for Procter & Gamble. "CVS has created what can be described as a kind of ‘beauty oasis’ in the store which has the potential to increase sales. It also offers CVS a way to continue to differentiate themselves from other retailers and gain additional loyalty to their store. This results in what we all desire — a big win for the beauty shopper as well as for the retailer and manufacturer."

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