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Beauty Roundup: February 4, 2011

With the Super Bowl on Sunday, it is natural to look at the best-of-the-best lineups in mass beauty retailing.

Super Bowl Matchups: Mass Retailing Style

With the Super Bowl on Sunday, it is natural to look at the best-of-the-best lineups in mass beauty retailing. There are numerous matchups in retail and beauty segments that could be as close in the race as the Steelers and the Packers might be this weekend. Whether some chains or some brands want to be compared or not, it is inevitable that they will be. For example, CVS and Walgreens might get tired of being talked about by analysts in the same reports, but with stores smack across the streets from each other across America, the comparison is inescapable.

Target vs. Wal-Mart: The two discount behemoths are adding more food options, opening smaller urban stores and putting a bigger focus on beauty. Target jumped out slightly ahead last year when it opened its Destination Beauty format with new end of aisle displays and interactive merchandising tools. But Wal-Mart has sprung back quickly with an upgraded department and a new launch for tweens called GeoGirl. It appears youthful consumers (or their moms) will be the quarterbacks in this match as Target puts its Hello Kitty offer up against GeoGirl. Target also has exclusives such as Pixi aimed at the young audience.


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Score: Tied game going into sudden death!


CVS vs. Walgreens: Both of these leading drug chains are putting a big push into beauty. CVS has been in the lead for a few years with its upgraded departments and illuminated displays. But Walgreens is quickly learning from its new Duane Reade acquisitions and incorporating components of Look Boutiques. As the game was starting to heat up, Walgreens launched a new online initiative.


Walgreens announced yesterday it was diving into the digital beauty space with a new and interactive Web site for women to find real solutions to makeup, hair and fashion dilemmas. Visitors to the site can get advice from beauty pros. There are also video episodes highlighting everyday women and their personal beauty challenges. “Beauty is one of the top categories searched and reviewed on,” said Walgreens divisional vice president and general merchandise manager for beauty Shannon Petree. “This new site plays up on the fun factor and excitement surrounding beauty and allows us another way to connect with our customer to help her quickly find real and sensible solutions.”
CVS has been adding in more beauty advisors and has done a commendable job building loyalty via its frequent shopper program. Walgreens never strayed from its beauty consultants and is adding more upscale brands.


Score: Tied at halftime.


Cover Girl vs. Maybelline: These two firms are locked in a battle for many of the same shoppers — those who want fashion at a good price and who may have migrated from department stores. Today, Maybelline unleashed a new Web site that it hopes will encourage visitors to come back frequently. The brand is on a roll and, according to recently released Symphony IRI data, the brand has an 18.6 percent share of cosmetics, edging out Cover Girl’s 17.5 percent share.


Score: Second quarter Maybelline leading 13 to 12.


Essie vs. OPI: When L’Oréal nabbed Essie, retailers rejoiced at the thought of having more access to the venerable brand. Then Coty came out of the field with its buy of OPI, and now merchants can’t wait to see how consumers welcome the once salon-only nail color giants.


Score: First quarter 0 to 0.


Enjoy the Super Bowl and may your favorite win! The Beauty Bowl will play out over 2011.

People, Place and Things

A few words with Kristen Yraola, assistant vice president, digital media and Internet for Maybelline New York-Garner-Essie about why Maybelline revamped its Web site and what it hopes to accomplish.


WWDBeautyNews: Maybelline has gone live with a new site, why now?

Yraola: It was last redesigned in 2007 and we thought it was time to make an alignment with our brand advertising and take that to the digital space. We are connecting more with our consumers and hoping to entertain them and give them inspiration. We want to make this a destination that they want to visit every day. That is why we have the one part with real girls and what they do and it changes daily. We also have more than lessons based on looks people want to achieve.

WWDBeautyNews: Is this now the same site across the country?
Yraola: We are starting with the U.S. and then rolling to all countries, starting with Europe. It will be mostly the same, but localized in content for some areas. There are also upgrades planned to the site that will make it more interactive. We are most excited about the multifaceted tools on this site. Retailers like it too because it engages shoppers to the brand.

What’s In Store?

Obagi Medical Products Donates to New Orleans City Park:  Obagi Medical Products, Inc.  has made a donation to the New Orleans City Park in conjunction with the American Academy of Dermatology meeting being held in New Orleans. “We are proud to support the rebuilding efforts of the City of New Orleans, and specifically, an organization that provides benefit to so many people in the community,” said Jim Hartman, vice president of global marketing and business development at Obagi Medical. “In addition to being a leader in professional skin care, we aim to contribute to the communities we visit to help improve lives. It’s a philosophy we call Changing Skin, Changing Lives.”


Fisk Buys Barielle: Fisk Industries has acquired the Barielle line of nail, skin and foot care products. More than 30 years ago, Barielle introduced its original nail strengthener cream as the first product of its kind. Originally formulated to condition the hooves of thoroughbred racehorses, the formula helps nails grow healthier and stronger while resisting splits, peels and breaks. When the jockeys applied the cream and noticed improved nails, the product was reformulated for women and men. Since then, the Barielle line has expanded to include a wide range of creams and lacquers to help prevent damage to hands and feet.