Retail Pulse: Luxury Beauty Brands Revamp Stores; Glossier Opens Temporary Shops

beauty products

Makers of luxury goods, as well as beauty firms, are aiming to bring in shoppers who are moving away from malls and other venues. Some firms are revamping their brick-and-mortar locations to make them into destinations worthy of day trips even as they move sales to eCommerce. Other firms are planning to open flagship stores in major global cities.

Lancome, in one case, is rolling out a store on the storied Paris avenue Champs Elysee with a 300-square-meter flagship location. The concept comes with interactive walls and follows similar moves by sporting or other fashion brands. And another flagship location is planned for next year in Beijing. Lancome, as it stands, is one of the largest brands of L’Oreal, the French cosmetics group. It sells its makeup and creams via department stores, airport merchants and other networks.

And groups such as LVMH are also investing in retail ventures. That firm will soon reportedly relaunch a large department store on the sides of the Seine, while other brands such as Barneys New York need to become more trim. (News recently surfaced that Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue flagship store will stay open for at least another year in a smaller form as the its buyer negotiates with the store’s landlord.) More expensive luxury cosmetics have reportedly been a sweet spot for beauty companies such as Estee Lauder and L’Oreal.

They have been in recent quarters, powered by demand from Chinese shoppers even with competition from upstart makeup labels. (L’Oréal, it was recently reported, was one of the big winners during Alibaba’s annual Singles’ Day shopping event.) Beauty companies are also acquiring other brands. For its part, Estee Lauder agreed to purchase two-thirds of an Asian beauty brand — Dr. Jart+ cosmetics owner Have & Be Co. — for roughly $1.1 billion.

Dr. Jart+ was founded in Seoul in 2005 and sells moisturizers, masks, cleansers and serums under names like Ceramidin and Cicapair. Have & Be also owns Do The Right Thing, a men’s grooming brand. Perella Weinberg Partners LP was Estee Lauder’s financial adviser, while Lowenstein Sandler LLP and Kim & Chang were serving as legal counsel. The news came as executives are aiming to revive sales in the U.S. by focusing on younger shoppers across the industry and purchasing hot brands.

From acquisitions to new or revamped brick-and-mortar stores, beauty, as well as cosmetic brands, are taking steps to evolve their retail operations.

In Other Brick-and-Mortar News

Glossier is opening temporary shops in Nordstrom stores, including the retailer’s New York flagship. The brand will only sell its “Glossier You” fragrance — one of’s top-rated products since rolling out in October 2017. The beauty brand has launched pop-up shops in cities like Miami, Austin, Boston, and London, but its success has primarily been in eCommerce sales of its lash product, lotions, and soft, pink-colored lip balms since its 2014 inception.

Glossier Founder and CEO Emily Weiss, said according to reports, “Fragrance is an extremely personal category — one that people understandably prefer to discover in person — and department stores are the largest channel for fragrance, making up nearly a quarter of all U.S. fragrance sales.”

On another note, Rent the Runway is working with the W Hotels brand of Marriott to roll out a rental experience at the W South Beach, W Aspen, W Washington D.C. and W Hollywood. Rent the Runway COO Maureen Sullivan said, according to reports, “This idea of being able to show up on vacation … and have the perfect clothing for what you want to wear, is pretty magical.”

Travelers will have the choice when they arrive to pay a fee and select four choices from the curated selection to wear during their trips. And they can leave the clothes behind in their room when they check out. The sharing economy platform will also have “mini closets” that have different outfits in the event users want to add more products or sizes don’t work.

And British merchants enjoyed a strong Black Friday despite predictions that the holiday would leave shopping malls empty. Barclaycard reported an “outstanding” Black Friday compared to the year before and noted that its transaction value was up 16.5 percent in comparison to the prior year with a rise in the volume of transactions of 7.2 percent.

Black Friday fell on the 29th of the month and occurred at the time of the monthly payday for millions of workers. And even high street saw a rise in sales. Retail data firm Springboard noted that footfall was 3.3 percent higher on Black Friday compared to the same day last year. Shopping centers performed the best, with visitor numbers up 6.5 percent.

To keep tabs on the latest retail trends, check next week’s Retail Pulse.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.