MACYS.COM LAUNCHES BEAUTY TRIO

Byline: Valerie Seckler

NEW YORK — Macys.com has just launched Chanel, Estee Lauder and Clinique e-boutiques, marking the first time consumers will be able to shop for the beauty brands at an online department store.
“We felt it was essential to have these three beauty brands up for holiday,” said Dawn Robertson, president and chief merchandising officer of Federated Direct, which encompasses macys.com and Macy’s by Mail. Noting the relaunch of rival beauty e-tailer Gloss.com “kept getting delayed,” Robertson added: “We felt we had to go live with Chanel, Estee Lauder and Clinique by mid-October at the latest, in order to fully realize holiday business. These launches mark the big kickoff of the beauty category at macys.com” (Gloss.com, owned by Lauder, is slated to go live today, as reported in WWD.)
Robertson declined to forecast holiday or full-year sales Tuesday. Earlier this year, Federated estimated the combined volume of its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s sites would reach $200 million to $250 million, up from $156 million in 2000 and $60 million in 1999. More than half of the macys.com business is generated by home goods; beauty is expected to eventually kick in 10 percent of the site’s sales, Robertson said. With the launch of the Chanel, Lauder and Clinique e-shops, macys.com now carries more than 150 beauty brands, comprising 5,500 stockkeeping units. In all, it carries roughly 75,000 sku’s.
“In spring, when we were relaunching the site, we focused on apparel,” said Helen Suvall, the site’s senior vice president and general merchandise manager. “Since then, we’ve allocated most of our resources to launching the new beauty brands.” The most recent tweaks include launching the holiday home page; redoing the navigation bar to flag concept shops as brands instead of boutiques, and making brands more prominent to test their viability for a full-blown e-shop treatment next spring. Currently, macys.com, which went live in November 1998, offers 11 e-shops, including Polo Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole New York, Liz Claiborne and Jones New York.