Masahiko Uotani, president and chief executive officer of Shiseido Co. Ltd., made a call for a global industry forum in order to share ideas at the WWD Beauty CEO Summit in Palm Beach, Fla., on Tuesday.
“The forum can be a platform where our companies can discuss noncompetitive and industrywide issues, such as sustainability, and share industry perspectives,” he said. “With so much change, we’d all benefit by thinking as an industry about our shared responsibilities — by being change, not just responding to change.”
Back during his time at CocaCola Japan, Uotani said beverage makers would periodically meet — eventually deciding to standardize the size of the outer carton boxes. They also opted to collaborate in times of emergency, following the Fukushima disaster in 2011. Jody Pinson, vice president of merchandising for beauty at Wal-Mart U.S., echoed the sentiment, calling for beauty companies to innovate in a sustainable way.
Pinson acknowledged Wal-Mart lacks credibility in color cosmetics primarily because of its lackluster store presentation, which the store is working to correct. The business — founded on principals of “stack it high and watch it fly,” sells 1.6 mascara’s per second and carries 1,750 lip products. Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamond is still the number-one fragrance at the store. Pinson expects more future sales to come from the Hispanic population, 46 percent of which she says are under 35 years old.
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On the financial side, Patrice Louvet, group president of Procter & Gamble beauty, admitted the business’ acquisition spree of beauty brands a decade ago was a mistake. “We overextended ourselves,” Louvet said. “We were out of touch with reality of where to create value. We lost sight of the core.” Louvet also admitted a misstep with Olay, saying that the company “should have been focusing like a laser,” on expanding Olay Regenerist, which only 5 percent of U.S. women had tried.
The word of the meeting was authenticity. “If it’s not relatable, they’re not following you,” said Nudestix founder and president Jenny Frankel. “The notion of authority changed fundamentally and permanently,” said William Lauder, executive chairman of The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. “Anyone can be an authority.”
Digital was another theme of the day. At Ulta Beauty, the digital experience has boosted sales, said David Kimbell, chief merchandising and marketing officer, who said customers who shop in store and online spend two times more money. “They feel a sense of beauty happening with the services in the store,” Kimbell said.
At YouCam Makeup, there were 295 million brand product trials in three months. During that period, four million users clicked through to Elizabetharden.com, the first brand to partner with YouCam. Users on the app are highly engaged — they visit the app on average 15 times per month, and there are 30 million photos taken with Perfect Corp.’s apps every day. The business also runs the YouCam Perfect, YouCam Nails and Beauty Circle applications.
Even though U.S. department store sales are down, Sarah Quinlan, senior vice president and group head of market insights MasterCard Advisors, signaled out the U.K. and Middle East as hot spots.