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Editor’s Letter: Going for the Growth

Granularity of Growth was published in 2008, but it is a concept that has become especially ubiquitous in beauty as growth plateaus in traditional sectors.

The book Granularity of Growth was published in 2008, but it is a concept that has become especially ubiquitous today in beauty as growth plateaus in traditional sectors. As a result, marketers are forced to create new opportunities in unexpected places, and many have done so with spectacular results—to wit, Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, which blasted open the brightening category in the U.S. Although the stories in this issue of WWD Beauty Inc are very diverse, they have a common thread: The retailers and categories featured are all experiencing explosive growth in a period when single-digit increases are the norm.

Take the dollar store channel of retail, which is growing at a pace faster than Starbucks, reports WWD’s contributing editor and mass-market expert, Faye Brookman. This year alone, two of the biggest players will open more than 1,000 new stores combined, and the channel is expected to continue nabbing market share (and top executive talent) from drugstores and discounters. Brookman explains what this means for beauty in “Penny Press.”

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Another fast-growing and ever-evolving channel is infomercials. The direct-response television business is booming—spending increased 47 percent in 2012 and was up 38 percent in January alone this year—but as many brands are discovering, a big spend doesn’t necessarily translate into big sales. WWD’s West Coast–based beauty reporter Rachel Brown talked to the industry’s most successful practitioners to discover what it takes to win today and the foundation brands are laying for a multiplatform future. The results are in “Small Screen Dreams.”

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Mass-market hair-care brands are also looking for a big win. After years of stagnant growth, the category has been energized in the past 16 months by an onslaught of launches—more than 500 new stockkeeping units alone from the industry’s biggest names. This generation of innovation has a singular goal: to transform consumer’s behavior and convince women to evolve their hair-care regimens into multistep programs that mimic skin care. “The hair-care market is undergoing a massive, long-term transition,” Unilever’s Gina Boswell told beauty financial editor Molly Prior. “Increasingly hair consumers are becoming more sophisticated and understanding that products work as a regimen of wash, care and treatment and they are willing to invest.” The early numbers bear out Boswell’s optimism. Find out how the market is expected to evolve this year in “Maximum Volume.”

There is another theme running throughout this issue: an emphasis on West Coast brands and leaders. You’ll find Benefit’s Aurelian Lis in “Master Class,” skin-care entrepreneur Ole Henriksen in “Private Lives,” and the hottest young Hollywood makeup artists and hair stylists in “Red Carpet Whiz Kids.” Although he brings a unique sensibility to the industry, Lis’ ideas about beauty are universal. “We all work in the cosmetics industry, which is inherently frivolous by nature, but it makes a big impact on people’s lives,” he says. “It is an awesome job. And very motivating.” I couldn’t agree more.

5 Key Points From This Issue

1. TUNE IN: The infomerical channel is growing and becoming increasingly integrated with other platforms.

2. REGIMEN CHANGE: Hair-care marketers are trying to grow the pie by transforming women’s habits.

3. VALUE ADDED: Dollar stores are booming, proliferating even faster than Starbucks.

4. GOOD TIMES: Why making people laugh is good for sales.

5. POP TOPS: Bright colors are all the rage for spring.