The retail landscape remains in a state of flux. Brick-and-mortar locations have continued to struggle to adapt digitally driven initiatives for new consumer priorities, and Amazon has given most retailers a new frame of reference for what’s achievable — from the warehouse onward.
This story first appeared in the February 21, 2018 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The beauty industry has been one of the categories quickest to catch onto the emerging nuances. From mass market to niche, beauty brands and retailers have amped up e-commerce platform functionality and devised data-driven strategies to differentiate themselves among the stormy landscape.
The segment has persevered — beauty brands and retailers have proven their dedication to keep up with new store openings (think Chanel’s recent opening of its first beauty and fragrance store in Milan) and enhanced in-store experiences (a renovated beauty floor is expected to soon be complete at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship, Ulta Beauty is implementing tester stations and Wal-Mart is purportedly installing additional gadgets in aisles, like iPads, to help with product choices).
What’s more, advances in technology will be a key theme as brands and retailers drive forward. This trend, set to feature an array of beauty apps as well as the industry’s dip into augmented reality, showcase the beauty industry’s determination to retain its strength despite the notable challenges at hand.
As David King, chief financial adviser, managing director and senior research analyst at investment banking firm ROTH Capital perceived, the concept of retail as we know it — especially due to the younger shopping generations’ influence — is being flipped on its head. “Millennials seek out experiences and prefer brands that speak to them, versus products that retailers choose to offer them,” he asserted.
The ability to deliver on that new model is what will ensure the beauty industry’s continued success — change withstanding.
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