Mass Market Stores: Where the Action Is

It used to be that mass stores couldn’t match the in-store excitement offered by department stores. That’s becoming a myth as retailers and manufacturers work together to pep up the environment in drug, food and discount stores.

Next week, CVS beauty consultants will don orange T-shirts to help attract attention to a campaign called SOS – Save Our Skin. CVS sells La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios, which is embarking on a campaign to educate consumers about the damage of the sun. By participating, CVS is aiming to become the go-to source for knowledge about sun care. La Roche-Posay also offered L’Oréal employees free screenings. More than 400 participated.

At Walgreens, Maybelline recently hosted a makeover event to introduce eye and lip products to Florida shoppers. A professional makeup artist was on hand at each store to apply Studio Pearls Shadow, Lash Stiletto Mascara and Shine Sensational Lip Gloss in mini-eye and lip makeovers. In two days, more than 800 makeovers were performed and more than 1,000 pieces sold. According to a survey consumers participated in during the event, over one-third had never tried Maybelline products before, 33 percent purchased something that day and another 62 percent said they would make a Maybelline purchase in the future because of this event.

While there, the makeup artist trained the store’s beauty adviser on the brands in order to assist future customers. The event was facilitated by Cosmetic Promotions Inc.

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Another in-store event was also in conjunction with Maybelline and CVS. From March 15 to April 15, consumers could take part in a contest at the exclusive microsite by performing a song from “Chicago” and uploading the video to the site to win a walk-on role in the musical. Live auditions took place in March at the Ambassador Theater in New York, where “Chicago” is performed. There and at the 150 East 42nd Street CVS/pharmacy in New York, Maybelline New York makeup artists helped contestants and consumers get extra Broadway-ready with mini-makeovers as well as receive CVS/pharmacy coupons for discounts on Maybelline New York products.

On Earth Day, Burt’s Bees dispersed founder Burt Shavitz look-alikes throughout New York to help build awareness of the brand. The buzz helped drive shoppers into area stores such as Duane Reade.

This could just be the beginning of a trend to more in-store activities for drugstore chains to keep shoppers interested in tough economic times.

People, Places and Things

A few words with Yannick Raynaud, La Roche-Posay general manager, about a new campaign to promote sun care.

Yannick Raynaud:
We want to encourage true behavioral change, not just offer a deal. The ultimate objective of the SOS — Save Our Skin — campaign is to create change; and we know that change begins in your own backyard. We have more than 400 skin checks planned at headquarters and employees will be able to hear lectures on skin care.

We have a great partner in CVS and their beauty advisers will have orange T-shirts on next week and help educate consumers. CVS will also do an e-blast to loyalty card members.

What’s in Store

WWDBeautySummit Kicks Off:
The top minds will be meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., to delve into the major issues impacting beauty. Look for social networking and new ways to reach consumers to be top of mind.

P&G Goes Direct TV: It worked for Proactive and now Procter & Gamble hopes an infomercial will help demonstrate the benefits of Olay Professional Pro-X Intensive Wrinkle Protocol. Television journalist and host of the “Insider,” Lara Spencer, stars in the 28 minute promotion.

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