Target's Blueprint for Beauty

Target may not have been the first mass marketer to enter the beauty realm, but the discounter has tried to do it better than the competition.

Minda Gralnek Target Corp

Minda Gralnek, Target Corp.


Target may not have been the first mass marketer to enter the beauty realm, but the discounter has tried to do it better than the competition.

"Getting Target into the business of beauty wasn't something we did early in our company history," said Minda Gralnek, vice president and creative director for Target Corp. "Target made its definitive foray into beauty in the late 1990s, nearly four decades after we opened our first store. But what we've done since has paved new ground."

Gralnek singled out initiatives such as Target's partnership with Sonia Kashuk, which has expanded beyond color cosmetics to brushes and fragrances. Gralnek said more extensions are coming in other categories.

"As you know, cosmetics can be intimidating to many women and the numerous product choices and price points can be overwhelming. And that's why Sonia's collection was a perfect match," she added, singling out Kashuk in the audience. "We feel her brand helps demystify makeup through easy-to-use, affordable and innovative options."

With Kashuk, Target got visibility for having a makeup artist that netted great exposure, and also made the chain the first discounter in the market with an exclusive line of prestige products.

Target has enjoyed success with other limited distribution collections such as Britain's Boots line. "From our Boots partnership we learned many things, such as unique lighting installations and shelving that helped move the product forward. We started the Boots program in select stores and, based on the line's early success, we've rolled it out nationwide," Gralnek told the Summit audience.

That was followed by Soap & Glory, a bath and body line developed by Bliss founder Marcia Kilgore. "This sassy, fun and affordable brand launched in the U.K. with outstanding success only to arrive Stateside at Barney's and now at Target," she said. She applauded the line's humorous side, such as a top-selling item called Sexy Mother Pucker.

Target is trying to lead the pack in the natural and organic world, too, with personal care from Burt's Bees, Dr. Bronner's Kiss My Face and Weleda. "The recent launches of the new organic and natural products have guests talking and buying. Sales have consistently overdelivered since their launch," Gralnek noted.
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