Retail Insights from Retail & Tech No 81

Retail news and trends to watch out for

  • Spring forward. French department-store group Printemps is to unveil a new brand identity and 10 new in-store and digital concepts across its beauty, fashion, food and home offer this month in a bid to become more relevant to consumers, especially younger consumers. Printemps CEO Jean-Marc Bellaiche said the retailer has lost its singularity over the years and that it has not invested enough since 2015, which has resulted in less traffic. The retailer plans to invest between €40m and €50m per year with the aim of returning to fiscal 2018 sales levels of €1.7bn in the next two to three years. The retailer’s new identity and concepts are also aimed at reaching a more balanced consumer base. Bellaiche noted that Printemps average consumer is currently 48 years old, but that it also wants to reach consumers in their 20s and 30s. “If you look at the last 10 years, the luxury industry has changed a lot. The actors in the luxury sector are not the same as they were 10 or 15 years ago; they are now influencers, rappers,” Bellaiche continued.

    In beauty, Printemps will launch a new in-store concept dedicated to holistic beauty, called Beauty Food and retailing supplements, gummies and powders. It will feature 10 brands, four of which will be exclusive to Printemps.

    Printemps’ comparable sales rose 38% year-over-year between April 2021 and March 2022, but fell 12% compared to April 2019 to March 2020. However, given the decline in tourist numbers, the sales drop could have been worse, Printemps indicated. For more on Printemps strategy

  • Prestige gains. Beauty retailer Ulta Beauty is upping the ante in luxury beauty. The retailer said that it had grown its market share in prestige beauty last year, and also partnered with Chanel to be the exclusive US retailer for the launch of sustainably positioned beauty line N°1 de Chanel. The line launched at Ulta in January and is available at 250 Ulta Beauty stores and on ulta.com. In fiscal 2021 Ulta Beauty said that beauty recovered faster than expected – the retailer said that its sales rose 40.3% year-over-year to $8.6bn and were up 16.7% compared to fiscal 2019. 

  • Social shopping. US retailer Walmart is diving further into shoppable video through a deeper partnership with livestream commerce company TalkShopLive. In February and March, Walmart has hosted a series of shoppable livestreams for events such as Black history month and International Women’s Day. Some of the shoppable videos have featured beauty brands, such as Uoma Beauty and Lottie London. Walmart first partnered with Talkshoplive in December to integrate its one-click shoppable video content online. TalkShopLive is a livestream commerce network and app that allows transactions to be processed within an embeddable video and lets customers purchase products featured in a video in one click. TalkShopLive technology can be embedded in all digital content including publications, blogs, websites and social media. The company claims that its events have three to nine times more in sales than other online pre-orders with a 45% organic cart-to-purchase ratio. More brands are turning to the company for social selling, it claims, with P&G slated to launch a pilot this month.

  • Kohl’s Sephora ambitions. US department-store group Kohl’s is aims to grow its Sephora business to $2bn in annual sales, part of a new business model Kohl’s announced last week aimed at modernizing its business. Some 200 Sephora shop-in-shops have opened since August 2021, with 400 more planned for this year. The Sephora offer resulted in strong beauty sales in its first holiday season, the retailer said. In addition to focusing on its Sephora shop-in-shops, the retailer will open 100 new smaller format Kohl’s stores over the next four years and is looking to grow its digital business to $8bn. Kohl’s move to revamp its business comes after it was urged to either spin off its e-commerce arm or sell the company. Hedge fund Engine Capital claimed in December that Kohl’s had one of the lowest valuations in the public market. 

  • China expansion. France-based department-store group Galeries Lafayette continues to expand in China, with the opening of its first store in Macau at Treasure Island Hotel, a new hotel and tourism center, at the end of this year. Galeries Lafayette said last December that it is expanding in China with plans to open 10 stores there by 2025. Galeries Lafayette opened its first store in China in Beijing in 2013 and its second in 2019 in Shanghai. A third shop is set to open in the D. Place Shopping Mall in Guiyang, in southwestern China, this spring.

  • Shipt it. Sephora has partnered with shopping and delivery company Shipt to launch a same-day delivery service in the US. Products ordered on the platform will be delivered to customers’ homes in one hour and the service will be available from 500 Sephora stores in the US. Sephora is the first beauty retailer to launch on the Shipt marketplace. Shipt, a subsidiary of retailer Target, is a personal shopping and delivery app that is available to 80% of households in 5,000 US cities. 

  • Target Zero. US retailer Target has introduced a new system whereby shoppers will see a Target Zero icon on products that are refillable, reusable, compostable, made from recycled content or made from materials that reduce the use of plastic. Target Zero products span beauty, personal care and household categories. Target Zero is part of the retailer’s sustainability strategy that aims to have 100% of its own brand plastic packaging be recyclable, compostable or reusable by 2025.
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