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Beautycounter and Target Collaborate on Limited-Edition Collection

The retailer has collaborated with more than 150 designers across a variety of categories over the last 17 years, but has never before partnered with a beauty brand on a limited-edition collection.

Beautycounter and Target have joined forces on a collection of skin-care and cosmetics products that will roll out to 1,500 Target stores.

The collection, available from Sept. 12 to Nov. 5 or while supplies last, represents Target’s first limited-edition partnership with a beauty brand in a 17-year history of more than 150 designer collaborations across a variety of categories, and demonstrates the retailer’s emphasis on differentiating its beauty selection. It will contain 17 items priced from $12 to $39, including 11 of safe beauty specialist Beautycounter’s bestsellers, five kits and a new product called Nourishing Face Oil.

“We are constantly looking and evaluating the beauty landscape, and Beautycounter was on Target’s radar as an up-and-coming brand. We have been talking to them on and off about a collaboration since last spring,” said Dawn Block, senior vice president of beauty and essentials at Target. “It’s an industry-disrupting brand known for cleaner, safer products that are premium in nature, and aligns with what our guests are asking for.” She added, “We know these limited-time offers drive excitement and bring people in. Beauty-savvy Target guests crave newness and are constantly searching to bring that into their routines. This is a way to do that.”

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Beautycounter’s entrance at Target will be its mass-market retail debut. Distributed through direct-sales consultants, the brand’s formulas avoid 1,500 questionable ingredients such as phthalates and parabens it places on a never list. “We do things differently and in our own way. We really aren’t a traditional direct-sales company. It has always been our intention to go into retail,” said Gregg Renfrew, founder and chief executive officer of Beautycounter. “Our network of independent consultants are the voice of our brand, and our story is best told person-to-person, but our mission is to get safer, high-performing products into the marketplace, and we have always wanted to form strategic partnerships to do that.”

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The Beautycounter for Target collection was planned to provide a comprehensive sampling of the brand’s products. “With one or two products, it is very difficult to experience the brand. The goal was really to highlight who we are,” said Renfrew. Block noted the range builds upon the success Target has had in the upscale skin-care and better-for-you beauty segments. “Skin care continues to be a focus area for Target. Since February, better-for-you, safer products are up about 20 percent and premium skin-care sales have increased about 45 percent,” she said.

The products will be in smaller formats than Beautycounter’s merchandise has been to date. Renfrew explained the reasons for the size modifications were to keep prices affordable so Target shoppers wouldn’t consider the brand too exorbitant to try and to distinguish the Target items from the products sold by Beautycounter’s consultants. “We didn’t want to have the exact same offering that we were selling through our independent consultants. Our consultants can bring clients into the stores, and feel it is additive rather than competitive,” she said. “This is going to be an enormous win for our field. I don’t think they find it scary. They understand it will increase awareness of the brand and strengthen their businesses.”

Block singled out Nourishing Face Oil and Cleansing Balm as standout items in the collection. “I have been using that and love the texture,” she said of the Nourishing Face Oil. “The Cleansing Balm is a very popular item, and we believe that one is going to be fantastic as well.” Renfrew elaborated, “When we first launched three years ago, oils were still somewhat unknown to people, and people were less comfortable with them, but they have been extremely successful for us as a company. We wanted to extend that offering into Target and do something exclusive. It is beneficial for both Target and us to bring something exclusive into the stores.”

Renfrew didn’t rule out Beautycounter working with Target again after the limited-edition collection ends. However, she said the most significant result of the collection would be amassing a larger audience for the brand and its message. “It is a great testing ground for a long-term relationship,” said Renfrew. “All of us are going to be looking to see how the products are going to perform within the Target stores. For us, it is about introducing people to the brand. Armed with information, people want better choices and, to the extent we can educate people through Target, some of those people will become customers of Beautycounter.”