Ulta Beauty shakes up the cosmetics industry with Manhattan store opening
Ulta Beauty is looking to make a splash with the opening of its first-ever Manhattan store. Located at 188 East 86th St in New York City, the store looks to offer consumers more than just beauty products to sift through. General manager Jennifer Diaferio notes that though this new location will offer many of the staple services – skin, brow and beauty – consumers have come to associate the company with, it also looks to make its own individual mark.
While sticking to its tried and true trades such as featuring products from NYX, Morphe, Ulta Beauty Collection among others, the store hopes to differentiate itself from the 1,000 others by featuring products and services not available in other locations throughout the nation. This involves the inclusion of Skin Laundry and M.A.C. The beauty retailer is one of the few locations to carry cosmetics from the makeup line, and the store’s general manager states that the company is looking to feature M.A.C. boutiques in more than 100 locations across the country.
Skin services from Skin Laundry are only available in one other Ulta Beauty location, the New York City location will be the second to feature the company’s 15-minute facial. The full lineup of services includes brow services from Benefit, skin services from Dermalogica, M.A.C. makeup artistry, and Skin Laundry’s 15-minute Laser & Light Facial.
When it comes to the salon where consumers can show their hair some much needed TLC, stylists will be able to offer haircuts, all over hair color, highlights, texture treatments, blowouts and deep conditioning treatments using products from Redken and Bumble and Bumble.
The full line of services and items offered both in-store and online are sure to entice consumers, but the Bolingbrook, Ill.-based company hopes this new location will drive foot traffic. Jennifer Diaferio explains that the store plans to do this by ensuring that customers, “are able to experience more than just our great product assortment. Guests can chat with Ulta Beauty experts to find the right shade or product to complete their look, get pampered with hair, skin and brow services and play, explore and discover before making their purchase,” Diaferio said.
Another set of perks customers can look for come from the company’s Ultamate Beauty Rewards loyalty program. Aside from earning points for every dollar spent, other benefits include a free gift on their birthday and double points during their birthday month. When members spend $450 in a calendar year, they are upgraded to platinum status, earn 25 percent faster, receive exclusive bonus point promotions and an additional birthday gift.
While this is certainly not the company’s first store, this expansion towards a whole new market of consumers who had previously only been able to buy products online should keep other major beauty retailers on edge.
Steripod adds tongue cleaners, new pod colors
Los Angeles-based Steripod is introducing tongue cleaners for the holiday season, along with expanding the number of colors available for their toothbrush protectors and gift sets for each of their products.
New Steripod Tongue Cleaners emphasize the importance of maintaining all around good health, the company and Dr. Jamielynn Hanam-Jahr, DDS, of Beverly Hills Aesthetic Dentistry said.
“The benefits of tongue scraping are well documented. It removes bacteria and toxins from the tongue surface which cause embarrassing bad breath – a big turn off for those mistletoe moments. The Steripod Tongue Cleaner is unique in that it has a curved ergonomic handle for a better position in your hand. It also has a triple row of scraping edges to better clean the tongue surface. It is so comfortable and easy to use I recommend my patients use it daily,” Hanam-Jahr said.
Currently, the Steripod Tongue Cleaners are available for purchase on the company’s website for the suggested retail price of $2.99 for a two-pack and $19.99 for a pack of 24.
Eight new shades of the pods designed to be clipped onto manual or electric toothbrushes also have been added. The new colors are Rose Gold & Champagne Pearl, Crystal Clear Purple & Crystal Clear Silver, Teal & Silver and Black Pearl & Ultra Violet. Each is currently available for purchase on Amazon or the company’s website for the suggested retail price of $5.99 for a two-pack, $19.99 for a four-pack and $3.99 for single packs.
“Steripod has been embraced by tastemakers of all ages – from millennials like Audrey Madison Stowe to moms including Nicole Feliciano of MomTrends. Now available in more than 20 festive colors, it’s never been easier to personalize your pod,” Bonfit director of marketing, Claire Wong said.
To celebrate the new Steripod colors and products, the company plans on awarding holiday shoppers with 15% off Stocking Stuffer Sets which include: 12 Steripod lovers two-packs, or 24 pods, for $69.99; 12 Steripod singles packs, or 12 pods, for $42; and 10 Steripod kids two-packs, or 24 pods, for $59.99.
Focus On: Wahl
At Wahl Home Products it is all about connecting the dots.
The Sterling, Ill.-based company has developed a strong niche in the grooming industry by making sure it covers all of the bases. That starts by offering quality merchandise, followed by a strong marketing message that resonates with both consumers and its retail partners. And, of course, it is backed up by a seasoned staff of professionals, all seeking to make sure that Wahl remains at the cutting edge in its categories.
The results have been great for the company. Wahl currently owns a 78% share of the hair clipper market and a 44% share of the beard trimmer segment. On top of that, the company is viewed as a major player in the pet grooming market, as well as with massagers. Most importantly, the North American consumer division has posted an average sales gain of 15% over the last dozen years.
“First and foremost, we are about quality,” said Bruce Kramer, senior vice president of Wahl’s North American consumer division. “We have a sales and marketing team here that is dedicated to making sure our retailers and consumers are happy with the products we offer. We spend millions of dollars every year on research and data to make sure we are offering consumers the products they want. We do not cut corners on anything, and with our research and development center [we have] have more than 200 patents. The bottom line is that we make a better mousetrap in the categories we compete in.”
All of that hard work and planning has resulted in a company with more than 350 SKUs across all of its lines, and a reputation with the trade and consumers that is second to none. Wahl, which was founded in 1919, operates eight global manufacturing facilities and 11 sales offices. It employs 3,200 workers worldwide, with 1,100 in Sterling.
“To maintain our leadership position in the personal care categories we serve, we must have vision,” said Greg Wahl, the company’s CEO. “Vision to continually improve our existing products. Vision to bring new products to market which meet the needs of consumers. Vision to stay innovative and ahead of our competitors, and vision to support our customers, the retailers, with programs that make it easy, fun and profitable for them to sell more Wahl products.”
Kramer emphasized the importance of the Wahl sales team, noting that educating the team is vital to the success of Wahl products and the overall categories the company competes in. But he also stressed that the company’s success is based on its relationship with retailers. “We coach and emphasize to our salespeople the importance of doing what is right for our retail partners,” he said. “We are the category leader and with that falls the responsibility of doing what is right to grow the entire category, not just our sales. We want to help each and every retailer grow their sales and profits in these segments.”
Part of that education is showing retailers how to upsell consumers to more expensive — and profitable — grooming products. Steve Yde, Wahl’s divisional vice president of marketing, said the company has used its experience and extensive product line to help retailers get consumers to spend more money on grooming items. “We have developed a very effective way of helping retailers get consumers to spend more money on grooming products,” he said. “Over the last 10 years, the average retail for these products has increased by about $5.”
Things were not always working so smoothly for the grooming category. Kramer remembers when suppliers flooded the domestic market with cheap imported products more than a decade ago. The lack of quality hurt the entire industry and consumers, he said, were turned off by the cheaper products.
“About 12 years ago, we put a team together and researched what was going on with the category,” he said. “The research showed that consumers wanted good products, and they wanted premium products that performed well. So we focused on the better and best parts of the categories. It helped retailers to get consumers to trade up, and consumers were happy [with] the better products. Everyone is happy.”
Advertising, packaging and in-store promotions also are helping to build the Wahl image and its sales. The company has long played off its success in the professional market with the consumer market, taking many steps to remind shoppers that the products used at barber shops and salons are often made by Wahl. Its current advertising program is focused on the “real guys, real grooming” concept with the tagline, “I trust my (fire) crew, my gear, and I trust my Wahl Clipper.”
Also, Kramer noted that the in-store display that encourages consumers to touch and learn about the products has helped create a 25%-to-60% spike in sales. “By allowing them to touch and feel the product, they see the quality of a Wahl product,” he said. “It helps to educate the consumer and show them the key attributes of each product. In the end, it helps them to make the right purchasing decision.”
So what does the future look like? Wahl executives are excited, noting that they are launching seven items over the next year and getting more involved in the men’s wet grooming segment, with shaving items, soaps and toiletries. “It is an exciting category and one where we think the Wahl name will go far,” Kramer said. “We intend to bring high-quality, premium products into this market, and we think male consumers will like them.”
Yde said that Wahl also is cognizant of the changing retail landscape and intends to help retailers sell products through traditional brick-and-mortar stores and online. “We want them to know that we are ready to work with them as they make the transition to digital,” he said. “There are new ways to communicate and sell [to] consumers, and we are onboard. We are very excited about the future.”