BEAUTY CARE

L’Oreal Paris to shutter U.S. retail stores

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Less than five years since opening its first retail store in Los Angeles, which was soon followed up with a second East Coast location, L’Oreal Paris has decided to shutter both locations on Feb. 28.

“Our two U.S. retail stores located at Beverly Center in Los Angeles and at Westfarms Mall in Farmington, Conn., created a unique retail experience that allowed us to experiment with innovative merchandising concepts and new forms of communication to the consumer. We are now exploring new, alternative venues to reach consumers,” L’Oreal Paris wrote in a statement sent to Drug Store News. 

In a letter e-mailed to L’Oreal customers, the company wrote: “All of our customers are an inspiration to us and we thank you for your patronage and the time you have spent with us here at the store. We appreciate your loyalty to the brand and look forward to you continuing to enjoy our products. Please note that L’Oreal Paris products can be found at all food, mass and drug retail outlets.”

Looking to better understand its shoppers and their buying habits and, in turn, improve merchandising at drug and mass, L’Oreal opened in the first half of 2005 its second U.S. retail store in Westfarms Mall. The first such location opened in the Beverly Center Mall in 2004.

The bright, spacious 2,000-sq.-ft. store at Westfarms Mall, which was visited by Drug Store News shortly after its opening, offered shoppers the luxury of browsing the entire L’Oreal collection in one location, where trained beauty advisers were on hand to assist them. Aside from helping shoppers find the right product, the advisers offered makeovers, and, through an in-store computer, could use cyber-imaging technology to see how a specific hair color would look on a consumer.

The products were priced at the high end of what a local retailer would sell them for so as not to undercut any drug or mass retailers. The manufacturer stressed that it opened the stores not to become a retailer, but to learn more about its shoppers. As a reflection of that mission, the company commonly referred to the stores as “Living Labs.”

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Nature’s Gate launches new lotion

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Nature’s Gate is launching for 2010 its new Glow Lotion, which moisturizes skin while gradually adding a hint of color for a natural looking glow.

The formula features dihydroxyacetone, a natural ingredient derived from sugar cane that won’t wash away with soap, water or sweat. The lotions are enriched with an exclusive blend of seven natural moisture boosters including sodium hyaluronate and vegetable glycerin. To protect the skin from signs of aging, the formula is infused with vitamin E and apricot kernel oil.

The Glow Lotion, available in light and medium shades, has a suggested retail price of $12.99 each. It is slated to hit stores in May.

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Botanical actives consumption on the rise in personal care segment

BY Antoinette Alexander

LITTLE FALLS, N.J. Consumers’ desire for performance coupled with natural ingredients is boosting botanical actives consumption in the personal care segment, according to recent research by consulting and research firm Kline & Company.

According to the report, dubbed “Specialty Actives and Active Delivery Systems for Personal Care 2008: U.S. and Europe,” botanicals consumption is growing at 8%, outstripping growth of other specialty actives with average growth of 5.4%.

The market for specialty actives and delivery systems in North America and Europe is about $840 million, according to Kline, with specialty actives in the Europe market accounting for the lions’ share of the markets. Botanical actives are growing in share within the specialty actives segment in both the European and U.S. markets. “Labeled” actives are showing quick growth, at up to 20% a year.

“Today’s consumer wants not only natural products, but also performance,” stated Nikola Matic, senior analyst, chemicals and material industry at Kline. “These two requirements were regarded as contradictory a few years ago, but highly substantiated botanical products developed recently brought new solutions to formulators.”

In addition, as the populations within the United States and Europe age the anti-aging segment will see a boost in botanical consumption, Kline stated. In order to compete, botanical suppliers with existing formulations are promoting their products as more effective at lower levels when compared with, for example, vitamins, making the botanical actives comparable in price on a cost-performance basis.

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