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Retail Innovation|March 04, 2021

Beauty Breaks Barriers in Health, Safety and Innovation

Shoppers have been inspiring remarkable retail innovations across categories, but in few areas are the results as noteworthy as in beauty’s healthy, safety and digitally progressive experiences. WSL’s Virtual Retail Safari® Open Call Event, scheduled for March 11, captures the most visionary and shopper-inspired examples.

Healthy Beauty is an Exercise in Getting it Right

For years, WSL has been tracking the shopper’s pursuit for good health and WELLness across categories, channels and store formats. The pandemic has accelerated this demand, and it is taking hold particularly in beauty. Our most recent How America Shops® surveys show that shoppers are seeking beauty innovations that promote good health, and the look of good health, not just on the outside, but on the inside:

In many of these areas, the numbers skew markedly higher among young shoppers:

Caring-as-a-Service Is a Retail Must

Healthy innovation is so important today because it is proof a company cares, which shoppers are finding in short supply among some retailers and brands (according to our research).

So in our most recent “caring score” survey, it didn’t surprise us that specialty beauty retailers (aka Sephora, Ulta and Bath & Body Works) ranked among the 10 highest-scoring retailers.  

Among the most important factor to shoppers, in which beauty retailers rank so well: “Services that help keep me and my family healthy.” 

In WSL’s Virtual Retail Safari® on March 11th, we share examples of retailers you will tour who are using innovation to demonstrate they care. Here’s a sneak peek:

  • Shiseido flagship, Ginza, Tokyo: This expansive store adds a human touch to its technology, with results that connect inner and outer beauty. Recognizing safety’s new role in staying healthy, the three-story shop provides its customers the experience of trying on products without touching anything. Wristbands are provided and read by sensors; samples are given by waving a palm under a dispenser. Health then extends to the products – shoppers can smell and touch displays of the actual ingredients. And finally, health extends to inner beauty: The lower level of the shop is dedicated to a meditation experience, with low-lit, individual pods in which visitors can relax, disconnect and listen to guided meditation.
  • MyGlamm flagship, Mumbai, India: This international chain also sees outside beauty as a projection of internal health, and aids it by helping its customers find time to look glamorous even when “most days are packed with countless plans and endless to-do lists.” Its new flagship store in Mumbai, opened in November 2020, includes a "Glamm Lounge" equipped with self-guided beauty tutorial stands and virtual try-on and sampling apps, to ensure pandemic safety and wellness. MyGlamm is backed by one of Europe's largest natural beauty companies “to make looking glamorous effortless” no matter how hectic the shopper’s life. In addition to reducing stress, some of its all-natural products are vegan, as well. 
  • Mecca flagship, Sydney, Australia: Mecca, the largest beauty retailer in the southern hemisphere, designed its new flagship store with the goal of lifting the spirits of pandemic-weary shoppers. It does this by tickling all our senses – there’s a champagne bar, glittering chandeliers and a perfumery. There also are plenty of education opportunities, because knowledge is essential to good health. The four-level store includes a skin lab where shoppers can consult a dermatologist, aesthetician or naturopath, for example. Yet extensive safety precautions are followed – products are delivered from floor to floor via whimsical delivery shoots, and digital tools are incorporated in ways that are relevant (not gratuitous): to organize appointments, to shop quickly and to provide workshops. 

Beauty retailers are showing their innovative pluck well beyond WELLness. WSL is showcasing the boldest, most outstanding in-store innovations in our Virtual Retail Safari® Open Call Events, and everyone is invited!

Retail Safari® Open Call is free to our Annual How America Shops® Clients.

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