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Beauty Inc issue 12/13/2013


This story first appeared in the December 13, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Canada’s Shoppers Drug Mart, already the envy of U.S. mass retailers, upped the ante with this year’s debut of its BeautyBoutique prototype. In an effort to give prestige brands a separate home, Shoppers Drug Mart, recently acquired by Loblaw Companies, carved out a store within a store stocked with brands like Urban Decay, Origins and Chanel. There are upgraded fixtures, digital signage, interactive tablets, testing areas and trained beauty advisers for cross-brand consultations. Shoppers Drug Mart still operates six freestanding Murale stores, which served as laboratories for the new concept. However, consumers’ penchant for cross-shopping—research shows 40 percent of Canadian women buy both mass and prestige cosmetics—has the chain favoring the one-stop approach. To that end, mass brands are separated by a wall but easily accessible. While executives wouldn’t disclose numbers, officials did say they’ve racked up “double-digit growth” in beauty and an increase in overall store sales since the opening of the new BeautyBoutique.