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Data is new face of ethnic cosmetics success

BY DSN STAFF

IRVING, Texas

“The days of running a business simply by reviewing shares and trends are over. So are the days of analyzing a category by filling out template-based category reviews. Those tactics have served their purpose and have been important in the past, but not anymore,” Joyner, president and chief executive officer of the J Joyner Group and senior executive and partner of its business partner TABS Group, told Drug Store News.

The key to running a successful ethnic beauty business in today’s competitive marketplace, according to Joyner: Data. In fact, he believes that with the right data and accompanying tools, and the intelligent use of such data, the average buyer and average salesperson can reclaim about 10 to 15 hours of their time each week.

“I believe the most compelling issue facing chain buyers and sellers is the lack of time. They are so busy with both internal and external pressures that they are forced to gloss over things because the next hottest fire is waiting for them,” Joyner said in a follow-up discussion after the AHBAI’s 2007 Ethnic HBC Mid-Year Buyers & Marketing Conference.

Armed with the right business analytics, manufacturers and the mass market retailers they serve undoubtedly have room for growth when it comes to meeting the beauty needs of today’s ethnic shopper.

It is estimated that ethnic cosmetic sales total about $70 million or roughly 2 percent of the cosmetic category. However, blacks and Hispanics account for more than 20 percent of the U.S. population.

Furthermore, Joyner said that an analysis of major drug and mass chains show that between 43 percent and 74 percent of their stores deserve some kind of ethnic cosmetic representation.

This is often because major chains have designated a portion of their stores as their “ethnic set”—which are often in lower-income, high ethnic concentration areas—and have taken the steps to merchandise those stores accordingly. However, in doing so, they may be neglecting their affluent ethnic consumers.

“This isn’t 1950 anymore. There are plenty of neighborhoods that have clusters of affluent Asian, Hispanic and black consumers who are not able to find the products that they need in their normal store that they go to in their neighborhood. So then they have to go across town to the ethnic store to get what they want,” Joyner said. “[In serving that consumer] they become more loyal to you and the ‘halo’ effect of that is they … buy more of the traditional products that you also carry.”

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Fred’s reports both monthly and quarterly record sales

BY Allison Cerra

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Fred’s Inc. reported record sales for the five-week and eight-month periods which ended Oct. 6, 2007.

The company said Friday that its total sales for the month increased 2 percent to $161.4 million compared to the same period last year. Total sales for the year-to-date period increased 5 percent to $1.157 billion.

Same store sales for the month rose 1 percent on top of a 5 percent increase in September last year. On a comparable store basis, sales increased 1.3 percent through the first eight months of fiscal 2007 compared with a 2.7 percent gain in the year-earlier period. Same-store sales are a key predictor of how well the company performs in stores that have been open for several years, and how well the newly open stores will do in the future.

“September sales came in at the low end of our forecasted range of a 1 percent to 3 percent increase, affected by unusually warm weather across our markets and the disruption caused by the updating of 98 stores under our refresher program,” said Fred’s Stores chief executive officer Michael J. Hayes. “We look forward to finishing our refresher program in October with the last 60 stores and to a better economic environment for our customers going forward, as the benefits of the minimum wage increase and the focus of Federal Reserve Board on the credit crunch take hold.”

Fred’s opened four stores at the end of September, bringing total store openings to 22 for the year-to-date period. These new store openings have been balanced by the company’s decision to close underperforming stores. In the remaining months, Fred’s Stores said that it plans to open 14 additional stores, with no further planned closings, which will result in a net increase in stores of 2 percent for the year.

Fred’s Inc. operates 702 discount general merchandise stores, including 24 franchised stores in the southeastern United States.

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Target to open another 61 stores nationwide

BY Allison Cerra

MINNEAPOLIS Target announced that it will be opening an additional 61 Target stores, the company said Friday.

The stores, which will all open Oct. 14, will open in 22 different states. The majority of the stores are making their debut in Arizona, California, Ohio and Texas.

In addition to offering the latest in trend-right merchandise, Target also brings a 44-year tradition of community involvement. The retail chain commits itself to local communities donating more than $3 million each week to area nonprofit organizations, becoming involved in local volunteerism efforts through Target Volunteers, and orchestrating other special projects that help meet area social service, arts and education needs.

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