LAS VEGAS — Building the basket.
Rather than battle over consumers, the salon and retail industries are each focusing on getting the most out of their clientele while they are in their salons, online or in a retail door.
Realizing the consumer is in the driver’s seat and buys when and where she desires, attendees at last week’s Cosmoprof North America meeting, held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from July 11 through 14, hammered out strategies to ring up more sales.
In the salon sector, that included better training and innovative products to provide tools so stylists can upsell. For retailers, it was the quest for unique products to lure shoppers to their stores. And digital continues to expand in importance, especially for hard-to-find items or replenishment.
Organized by North American Beauty Events — a joint venture between the BolognaFiere Group and the Professional Beauty Association — CPNA attracted 1,017 companies spread across a sold-out show floor spanning more than 230,000 square feet. The biggest gathering of beauty purveyors in the U.S. totaled 30,000 attendees, a 10 percent incline over last year. In addition to salon professionals, retailers prowling for new items included Barney’s New York, Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc., C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, Apothia, Duane Reade Inc., HSN, Kohl’s Corp., Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Amazon.com, Beauty.com, Beauty Bar and Murale. “Discover Beauty had a lot of innovations and interesting companies,” said Jeff Askenas, vice president and divisional merchandise manager for Kohl’s Department Stores.
Many of the indie product jewels were uncovered in the Discover Beauty and Spotlights area populated with about 50 up-and-coming companies who also convened with retailers in “speed dating” style one on one meetings. Highlights included:
• Static Nails, the winner of the Discover Beauty award, and perhaps the most discussed exhibit. Created by Alexis Irene while she was in college, the glue-on nails are reusable, paintable and shapable. Some options are even adorned with Swarovski crystals making them a far cry from your mother’s artificial nails, said one buyer.
• Hey Honey, a skin-care line with premium honey extracts, vitamins A & E, sea-buckthorn oil and honeysuckle extracts that at least one major retailer said she would add immediately.
• Soul Serum, a lotion to provide immediate relief from foot pain, especially aches caused by high heels. Feet, in fact, appear to be the latest body part marketers are targeting. Another entry Smooth for Men foot scrub from Simple Sugars, a Mark Cuban “Shark Tank” investment founded by Lani Lazzari who made her first concoction with she was 11 years old.
• Lace Your Face Mask, an at-home mask made of medical-grade stretch cotton that affixes to ears for easy use.
• Z Skin Systems, a holistic line that company president Emily Frank said was “well-received by retail buyers who are embracing the nutrition-focused skin care.”
• Doll Face introduced Little Black Mask, a product illustrating two market trends — growth of masks and multifunctionality.
• Cutting-edge skin care was on display, including Cane + Austin’s glycol treatments; a new premier collection from Goldfaden MD called Plant Profusion and Kathy Ireland’s NuGene and Jaura, a skin-care line inspired by Indonesian beauty rituals.
• Discover Scent, the brainchild of CPNA’s marketing director Daniela Ciocan, was a curated fragrance area designed to help move the needle in scent sales. A special fragrance was even created for CPNA and dispersed during educational programs.
Natural beauty is on the rise in all channels, encouraging Mark Cuban to select 100% Pure (which uses fruit extracts for color) as the winner of the Beauty Pitch, a “Shark Tank”-inspired contest where five brands vied for a one-year mentorship from the business mogul. Other buzzed-about natural offerings included gluten-free Gabriel Cosmetics, the 100 percent vegan Peter Lamas offering and plant-based Lavido from Israel.
Men weren’t left out at CPNA as witnessed by activity at ManCave, a natural men’s grooming line, and 18.21 Man Made, men’s items housed in whiskey bottles (and the winner’s of the audience vote at the Beauty Pitch).
While retailers looked for innovation, the professional side of the business eyed products to differentiate the offer, especially those highlighting the expertise of stylists. Although more professional goods are available online, the industry is stressing its hands-on advantage.
“You can’t buy the expertise of a salon hair-care expert on the Internet,” said Lynelle Lynch, president of the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation, which launched a new scholarship during CPNA, focused on aesthetics and sponsored by Murad Inc.
The hair message this year was about preventing damaging rather than repairing. With dramatic shades in hair color taking the spotlight, Sexy Hair saw what Jennifer Weiderman, vice president of marketing and education, saw as “white space” in the market. The company is launching Bond-ing, a hair breakage prevention system. The company said the three-step system is faster than competitive products.
In keeping with its heritage of innovative luxury-hair introductions, Alterna revealed Moisture Intense pretreatment, oil crème shampoo and conditioner for textured hair under its Caviar Anti-Aging Banner. The campaign will feature a multiethnic model.
Obliphica Professional aims to keep its rapid growth pattern on the incline with a new styling line including a brushable mousse and a hair spray that makes it easy for stylists to “create and recreate,” according to the brand’s celebrity stylist Sacha Quarles.
Concentrating on the health of hair wasn’t the only trend — products to grow hair were also prevalent. Macadamia Professional debuted a line designed to reduce hair fallout to provide thicker hair called Eprouvage. Another contender at the Beauty Pitch netting attention was Zenagen, a shampoo-based therapy tapping nutraceutical technology to spur hair growth.
Appliances to spur follicle growth also took center stage including an item launched at the show from NutraLuxe MD called NutraStim. Peter von Berg, president of NutraLuxe, noted that devices are being purchased even by Millennials who aren’t waiting for the first hair to fall out or first wrinkle to seek a tool.
Those attending hope another category in need of a life, nail care, will benefit from a bevy of new nail colors — such as Essie’s Silk Watercolor Collection — as well as long-lasting, quick dry systems.
OPI is eliciting strong consumer acceptance for its Infinite Shine, a three-step system delivering up to 10 days of wear. Jessica Cosmetics introduced its Phenom gel-like collection in 24 shades also said to last up to 10 days. Orly’s entry is called Epix Flexible Color, a two-step system with properties that bend with the nail to reduce chipping. These lines appeal to women looking for the last of gels without the time commitment and potential nail damage.
With color cosmetics gaining traction in the market, there was stepped up entries from companies including Prestige, NYX, Doucce and Palladio. “Color is strong, especially lip and brow,” concluded Julie Tomasi, senior vice president of merchandising for Ulta Beauty.