Consumers Welcome Early Holiday Approach
Christmas is coming to stores earlier — and shoppers don’t mind. In fact, many are cheering the arrival.
Consumers along Sandy’s path were excited about the promise of the holidays as they sought refuge from dark and cold homes in stores over the past week. Even the early snowfall on the East Coast put people in the mood.
The twitter sphere is filled with tweets counting down the days to the holidays, instead of the usual grumpiness that ensues when merchants set up goods prior to Thanksgiving. The holidays usher in happy times and right now Americans want happy.
Retailers picked the right year to move merchandise into stores roughly two weeks ahead of tradition. Rite Aid has a full display of holiday fragrances along with trim-a-tree. There are prepacks of snazzy holiday looks such as sparkly nail lacquers.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is moving its Black Friday deals to Thanksgiving Day on Thursday to 8 p.m. versus 10 p.m. last year. Wal-Mart’s chief merchandising officer Duncan MacNaughton said customers want to shop earlier and go to bed earlier. He also promised the most aggressive deals the chain has ever had. Wal-Mart’s winter catalogue Beauty Scoop circular promoted Pantene Hair Expert for $7.97, Halle Pure Orchard by Halle Berry for $16 and the new Insta Gel strips from Sally Hansen for $27.97. Trends to watch mentioned in the ad were ombré nails and big hair. Tips on how to achieve the looks were provided. The back page was devoted to beautiful gift suggestions such as the Beyoncé Pulse two-piece gift set for $14.84 and the Ax Holiday Revive Basket for $15. Once again, retailers are reaching beyond traditional fragrances as gift ideas.
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Ulta’s recent advertisements also have beauty-as-gift concepts, such as Boots No. 7, benefit glosses, a Smashbox try-it kit and an exclusive Urban Decay Books of Shadows with a New York City theme priced at $39.
To be sure, the products used to lure consumers in during the early events won’t primarily be beauty. But retailers hope that the exposure to the beauty offer will result in more dollars at cash registers in the last few weeks of the holiday rush. Retail stores became the center of communities during the recent storms. Many went to their local store just to charge phones or interact with other people. The store experience, rather than just ordering online, became very real once again. Now it is in merchants’ hands to keep shoppers coming back.
People, Places and Things
A few words with Lori Silverstein, chief beauty officer of Peninsula Beauty, a professional beauty retailer and salon operator garnering much attention from up-and-coming cosmetics companies.
WWDBeautyNews: How many stores do you have now?
Lori Silverstein: As of Oct. 5, we are currently up to 12 store locations, with two other locations on the horizon. We just expanded into a major market by adding two new store-salons in San Francisco. This holds a very special place in my heart since I’m a fourth-generation San Franciscan and I couldn’t be more excited for the growth we are seeing from this. Within the next five years, I envision we will be up to about 20 stores.
WWDBeautyNews: What are major beauty brands, are any new this year? What are top sellers?
L.S.: Our top hair-care beauty brands and customer favorites include PureOlogy, Redken, Sebastian, Onesta, Lanza, Deva Curl, Macadamia. These major brands are only a few of what we have to offer. In our vast skin-care category, a few of our top sellers include Dermalogica, Murad, Ahava, Peter Thomas Roth and Bliss. Then, of course, our top nail brands include OPI, Essie, China Glaze, Seche and many others. We also have bath and body brands including Clarisonic, Pacifica, Terra Nova, Michel Design, Kneipp, and European Soaps. Our growing cosmetics section includes brands like Jane Iredale, Sorme, Tigi, Palladio and Mavala. We also sell lots of unique gifts and specialty items. Voluspa, Votivo, Paddywax, Mixture Soy Candles top the list. And when it comes to beauty accessories, like hats, scarves, jewelry and other essentials, Peninsula Beauty is one of the only beauty boutiques to carry a wide selection. These core products make up just a few of our major beauty brands to keep our customers coming back.
I always enjoy adding new and exciting products. This year, I introduced Too Faced Cosmetics, Butter London Polish, J.R. Watkins, Lomasi Gel System, Ardell Lashes and AG Haircare to our product selection and we recently relaunched the ABBA brand.
Coming soon this year we will be introducing Perricone M.D. and j.f. lazartigue. Our customers love finding new fabulous treasures in the stores, so I couldn’t be more excited about this.
What’s In Store
Walgreens Expands Private Label Lines: Walgreens is introducing Ology, a new brand free of harmful chemicals, yet affordably priced. The lineup includes personal-care and baby-care items.