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7-Eleven Hopes Women Want Cosmetics With Their Coffee

7-Eleven is the latest to throw its hat into the booming cosmetics category as the giant convenience store company seeks to capitalize on its huge foot traffic.

Beauty is seemingly everywhere today.

Hoping to grab its share of the $46 billion industry, convenience store giant 7-Eleven is rolling out an exclusive line called Simply Me Beauty. 7-Eleven joins the growing list of outlets offering beauty ranging from apparel chains to vending machines as consumer appetite for makeup continues to grow. And like many retailers looking to build sales in the margin-rich category, 7-Eleven is angling for Millennials.

“The beauty industry has seen dramatic growth of cost-conscious cosmetics in the marketplace because Millennial women are looking for a variety of colors at affordable prices,” said Lindsay Robertson, 7-Eleven product development category manager. “They like to buy and try, and our goal when developing the Simply Me Beauty line was to create a line of makeup that had a quality look and feel without a high price barrier.”

Simply Me Beauty spans 40 items including cosmetics and accessories for face, eyes and lips. According to the company, the products are suited for day or night use and appropriate for all complexion types and skin tones. Pricing is between $3 to $5.

While 7-Eleven did not comment on sales projections, industry sources said it could easily achieve first year sales in the $30 million range.

The mass market has struggled to keep up with specialty store growth, however, drugstores and food stores — which will be 7-Eleven’s major competitors — still control 30 percent of overall cosmetics sales. The chain’s competitive edge will be its convenience factor coupled with tremendous foot traffic. Fitting with that, the products will be housed in a freestanding “Gorgeous on the Go” display. It will accommodate eye shadow palettes, blushers, highlighter, bronzer, BB foundation creams, hi-def concealers, volumizing mascara, eyebrow powder and wax, eyeliner, lip gloss and crayons, cream lipsticks, translucent powder compact, faux eyelashes, assorted makeup brushes, blender sponge, eye makeup remover, nail buffer and nail polish remover. Those familiar with the collection note it is on-trend with current beauty trends, especially for a convenience store operator.

“Convenience isn’t always just about a quick stop for something to eat and drink,” said Jack Stout, 7-Eleven senior vice president of merchandising. “7-Eleven tries to offer our customers solutions for lots of different needs. We believe that for many, this top quality line of cosmetics and cosmetic accessories can become regular purchases in addition to fill-in stops.”

7-Eleven Enters the $46 Billion Beauty Business With Exclusive Line
Simply Me Beauty is designed to attract Millennials and time-pressed women. Zero Drift Media LLC

The company also hopes to play off of the impulse nature of beauty. “Much of the time, makeup items like lip and eye colors are spur-of-the-moment, impulse buys,” said Joy Pico, 7-Eleven category manager. “If the price is right, that makes it easier to justify. For a Millennial working woman wanting to refresh her makeup while grabbing lunch at 7-Eleven stores, Simply Me Beauty is a welcomed offering and is priced just right for her. “

The company said its private brands team benchmarks all new items against popular national brands to ensure equal or better quality along with features not found anywhere else. 7-Eleven is supporting the launch with a social media program during the holiday shopping season.

Private label and exclusive lines are growing faster than traditional brands, retailers said. Recently chains such as Walgreens Boots Alliance and CVS have boosted their commitment to homegrown lines. One issue, as pointed out by industry consultant Allan Mottus, is the brigade of brands further fragments the market and often causes women to trade down in pricing.

Brian Sharoff, president of the Private Label Manufacturers Association, said in an interview with WWD earlier this year that “the days of national brands dominance in these categories is over.” He credited private label companies with bringing quality and newness to a social-media charged consumer hungry for innovation.