After eight years of being out of the business, Sears Holding Corp. is reopening full service beauty counters in 13 stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York this week. The store is slowly reintegrating beauty back into its market but the proposed goal is to incorporate the beauty business into 100 stores by next year and, if successful, keep growing to include as many as 400 out of the 852 Sears department store locations by 2012. "There is absolutely an opportunity for beauty products at Sears," said Sears' merchandising manager for cosmetics, Andrea Goldner. "The time is right to get back into that business."
It seems that there is no better time than the present for the retailer to get back into the beauty business, a high margin sector of products that has proven much more recession-resistant. The company is hoping to ignite a much-needed sales increase through fragrance and skin-care product inventory. Sears had eliminated the beauty sector of its stores in 2001 under former Chairman and
Chief Executive Alan Lacy as part of an effort to filter out poorly performing businesses. The abrupt exit occurred
just weeks before the company was set to launch a partnership with Avon
Products Inc. inside many of the stores. Now that the relaunch of beauty counters has been confirmed, the store plans to carry nationally recognized and specialty brands, including CoverGirl,
L'Oreal, Maybelline and Burt's Bees. Sears also will be the exclusive
U.S. retailer for French firm Yves Rocher's botanical products.
"Of the industries to get into, (beauty) seems to be a bit more stable," said Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst at NPD Group, a market research firm in Port Washington, N.Y. "It could be a good venture for [Sears] if they could
execute it — which they've had trouble with in the past."
Article Source: latimes
Photo Source: consumerist