NEW YORK — A shopper cracks open a lipstick to test the color. She doesn’t like it and puts it back into the rack.Upon purchasing a new blush, a woman gets it home and finds the color looks different when she is out of the store. The chain she bought it from has a money-back guarantee, so she returns the opened package.The mechanism in a new lipstick doesn’t work right and the disgruntled shopper takes it back — unhappy with the brand and the store.These items have now become unsaleable for the retailer. Ten years ago, most retailers could simply return the products to the suppliers for credit. But returns have become such an expensive proposition for both buyers and sellers that some suppliers have cut off or reduced payments for returns. An estimated $10 billion to $15 billion worth of items are returned per year. Beauty skews higher since there is a greater rate of return when consumers don’t like a color. Many chains such as Rite Aid and CVS also offer money-back guarantees, where shoppers can bring back any cosmetics they don’t like. Also, since beauty is fashion-driven, there are more frequent shade launches rendering existing stock out of date. Returns have been a nagging problem of the mass beauty business for many years — and despite many complaints, there have been few solutions. With sales tightening in the beauty department, the returns issue is getting even more attention.Some companies, such as Coty and Bonne Bell, still buck up for returns on nonpromotional items. "Bonne Bell has always been one of the best for handling returns," said Sally Yanke, buyer for Medic Drug. Buyers said L’Oréal has worked hard to create packaging that reduces returns. "Their mechanisms don’t fail that often," said one source, "so we don’t have as many returns on their products. Some firms have lipsticks that don’t work well and we get many back." Some retailers are also insisting on a guaranteed sales clause, especially with fledgling suppliers.Retailers said Unilever is restating its terms for 2003 to be more retail friendly. Revlon is reported to be reworking its terms that were set forth two years ago.Revlon would not comment on those changes for this article.However, retailers said Revlon is proposing several alterations at press time. A number of chain representatives said Revlon is planning to offer retailers more advertising dollars to offset the cost to the chains of absorbing returned merchandise. As of last year, Revlon was doling out a percentage of the return charges based on each retailers’ sales. Many chains, such as Kerr Drug, operate reclamation centers where returned merchandise is shipped and then scanned to come up with documentation for suppliers of what has been returned. Then some suppliers want the items back, while others prefer that the merchandise be sent to salvage. Barter is also becoming a choice of both retailers and suppliers looking to nab more money for merchandise they can’t sell."This is an issue [returns] that frequently comes up at our meetings," said Jim Devine, president of the Chain Drug Marketing Association. "Perhaps raised awareness will contribute to new solutions to the problem."Karen Durham, divisional merchandise manager for Duane Reade, will depart that post and become a consultant for the chain as of Oct. 1. Durham, who spearheaded the launch of Duane Reade’s proprietary brand called Apt. 5, will continue to work on that brand with hopes of expanding it into other beauty care categories. Durham has more than 20 years of experience in the beauty business. Prior to joining Duane Reade in 1993, she was a buyer for Eckerd Drug.Marti Bentley, the current buyer, will assume the dmm title.
Exclusive: @longchamp is planning to stage its first official runway show at New York Fashion Week this fall. The French leather goods firm has expanded into ready-to-wear as part of its repositioning as a lifestyle brand. The show, scheduled for September 8, will also cap the brand’s 70th anniversary celebration. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex undertook their first overseas engagement as a married couple in Dublin. The trip included multiple events and outfits changes, including this black dress by @emiliawickstead that Meghan Markle wore for a party at the British Ambassador’s home. #wwdfashion #royals
At 20 years old – and with an estimated net worth of $900 million - @kyliejenner is the youngest person to ever make @forbes’ annual list of America’s Richest #SelfMadeWomen. “It’s incredible to be recognized for something I’m so passionate about, and I’m really grateful for that. I’ve always loved makeup and worked really hard to bring the first lip kit to the market,” said Jenner on founding @kyliecosmetics. See who else is on the list on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @rainerhosch)
“The collection is inspired by Tulum and the Mayan Riviera – its laid-back luxury, life of cabanas, untouched coastline, natural habitats, exotic cocktails and jungle parties with renowned DJs,” said Matteo Maniatty, creative director and cofounder of @descendantofthieves, on the brand’s inspiration for its latest collection. See more designer sketches and inspirations on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #nyfwmens #nyfw
@riccardotisci17 is releasing a limited-edition capsule collection as part of his anticipated runway debut for @burberry in September. Delivered in a series of instant drops, this is the second Burberry capsule collection announced since Friday, when Tisci broke the news on his collaboration with @viviennewestwood. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion #wwdnews
“It’s like a Cinderella story. You get a little fake, you get a little real, you put it together and voilà,” said legendary rapper Slick Rick, who helped pioneer the merge of luxury and streetwear. WWD’s @ariahughes spoke to @therulernyc about his jewelry collection, his collaboration with @bally and how the industry has evolved – link in bio. (📷: @kristaschlueter)
@ragandbone and @eminem are teaming up on a special capsule collection of streetwear pieces. Sold at a one-day pop-up in London’s Soho on Friday, the collection features three different T-shirt designs and a hoodie. The capsule is set to kick off the rest of Eminem’s shows in his European Revival Tour, which ends on Sunday. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdfashion