Walmart might be busy buying up e-commerce companies, but it is also putting efforts into the in-store environment, especially in beauty. In concert with Walmart’s efforts to improve the in-store experience, the chain will showcase its proprietary Hard Candy brand in 365 doors over the next 12 months.
Hard Candy executives describe the program as “retail-tainment” and it kicks off this weekend in conjunction with Mother’s Day. In the selected stores, consumers can have personalized makeup consultations, an upscale twist in the mostly self-service environment. Looks will change over the course of the program, but the initial styles incorporate two styles, Rock the Golden Glow and Rock the Golden Glam.
The four key items highlighted are Sheer Envy Hydrating Primer Mist, Look Pro! Rose Eyeshadow Palette, Be Bold Mascara, Just Glow! Baked Trio and Plumping Serum Lip Gloss. Prices range from $6 for the gloss to $10 for the palette.
The first markets to get the in-store demonstrations included Arkansas, New Mexico, California, Florida, Idaho, Virginia, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Texas, Oregon, Oklahoma, Arizona, New Jersey and New York.
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Walmart has embarked on a major campaign to inject excitement in its retail doors including faster-to-market trend items, exclusives, sparkling illuminated fixtures and greater use of technology.
From a makeup standpoint, Hard Candy has been at the cornerstone of its efforts since it was introduced into Walmart in 2009. It is one of a handful of beauty exclusives also including P2 nail color and Found, a natural color brand.
“The customer is constantly changing, and we are trying to change and evolve with her,” said Jody Pinson, head of beauty at Walmart, in an interview last year during a tour of an upgraded store. She said the beauty team travels the world looking for the latest beauty trends to keep Walmart on par with specialty and direct-to-consumer competitors. Among the categories she singled out as giving Walmart an edge were facial masks, natural lines, makeup brushes and wider foundation shades.