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Alex Perez-Tenessa to Depart CVS

The retailer's top beauty merchant is going to Amazon, according to industry reports.

Amazon is poaching from CVS one of mass beauty’s most forward-thinking merchants, Alex Perez-Tenessa.

Industry reports say that the vice president, merchandising manager of beauty is stepping down from the retailer’s Health division after four years there. CVS confirmed that Perez-Tenessa is leaving the company. Amazon did not return a request for comment.

Despite Amazon’s burgeoning beauty business, reports say Perez-Tenessa will join the Amazon Kindle e-books division.

Perez-Tenessa, who oversaw the beauty assortment in all 7,900 CVS stores, is widely credited with enhancing the chain’s offerings. Most recently, CVS teamed with Peach & Lily’s Alicia Yoon to offer over 100 K-beauty items in 2,100 of its doors.

Last year, Perez-Tenessa told WWD that 2,800 new beauty products were introduced, with a focus on emerging, trend-driven brands, such as Wunderbrow, NYX, Skinfix and Nip + Fab. He also oversaw the installation of Trend Centers — fixtures inside CVS beauty departments designed to show shoppers what the new items and brands are.

“We felt we needed to be there to respond to that demand. Yes, we need to carry her all-time favorites, but we want to be the place where customers come to find the latest innovations at affordable prices to find her future favorites,” Perez-Tenessa explained to WWD in an interview last year.

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Perez-Tenessa is also credited with bridging the gap between health and beauty within CVS stores. An early adapter to the consumer wellness movement in the mass market, CVS introduced a more prominent natural skin-care section, and teamed with Sensible Organics on an in-house line of organic skin-care, Promise Organics.