Clothing stores are diversifying their offerings as consumers spend a smaller percentage of their disposable income on apparel, according to a CNBC articleciting steady decline in apparel spending in favor of popular categories such as beauty, home and electronics. Beauty Insider explores the carefully curated selections of the following non-traditional beauty players looking to drive traffic and capitalize on a fast-growing category.


Forever 21

Brands carried: The retailer is packed with a broad range of fun, trend-driven and affordable beauty products including makeup, tools, skin care and hair care from brands such as e.l.f, NYX and Winky Lux, K-Beauty brands (lots of sheet masks), as well as Forever 21’s own private label.

Brand curation strategy: Fast beauty is the logical extension of Forever 21’s fast-fashion strategy, with a huge selection of beauty products that keep pace with the brand’s ever-changing fashion looks.

Target audience: Fashion-savvy millennials who experiment and frequently change their looks.
Price points: Items are priced practically. ‘Beauty under $5’ headlines the home page of Forever 21’s Beauty section.
Availability: Forever 21 is readying to open 10 freestanding beauty boutiques, named Riley Rose before the 2017 holiday, as reported last May. Forever 21 operates 600 stores in North America, Europe and Asia.


Brands carried: In keeping with the brand’s feminine, artistic and eclectic aesthetic, Anthropologie sells a huge array of attractive beauty brands from around the world. The selection includes indie brands such as Sunday Riley, Ilia, Puristry; French pharmacy essentials including Darphin Paris; and even features a Mask Shop.

Target Audience: Anthropologie customers are typically 30 to 45 years old, college educated, with above-average household incomes.

Price points: High price-points (up to $200) are in keeping with the premium skin care and one-of-a-kind brands that comprise Anthropologie’s lineup.

Availability: Most of Anthropologie’s 200 stores carry an assortment of beauty products including makeup, bath, body, fragrance, skin care and hair care. The retailer is rolling out larger format stores called Anthropologie and Co., featuring an expanded beauty assortment that feels like a boutique within the store.

Brand curation strategy: Anthropologie’s stores have a strong, curated feel. The retailer strives to discover small, artisanal brands with a good backstory, where presentation is as important as product efficacy.

Urban Outfitters

Brands carried: Urban Outfitters carries more than 150 beauty brands, ranging from established brands such as Anastasia Beverly Hills, Stila, OUAI, Milk Makeup and Frank Body, to niche and apothecary brands including Fig + Yarrow and Herbivore, as well as the newest finds from Korea.

Target audience: As the name suggests, Urban Outfitters appeals to urban consumers aged 18 to 30 years old who are drawn to the latest beauty trends and innovations.

Price points: The store offers a broad range of price points, up to $200, reflecting the immense breadth of brands.

Availability: In addition to a huge and diverse online assortment, Urban Outfitters’ 230 stores in North America and Europe feature an eclectic mix of beauty products in dedicated spaces of varying size.
Brand curation strategy: Urban Outfitters differentiates itself with an eclectic assortment of beauty products that stand out from the crowd and deliver on quality. The retailer continually uncovers the edgy and the new, both to inspire and surprise customers, and to deliver trusted products they will use every day.

Brands: H&M’s private label beauty brand, H&M Beauty, encompasses a full range of makeup, beauty tools and some hair care and body care products. Fashion is at the heart of the range with an ever-evolving assortment of seasonal looks and colors. H&M Conscious Beauty consists of products, such as dry shampoo and body oil made with certified organic ingredients.

Target audience: The fashion-forward, budget-conscious consumer.
Price points: Most items sell for under $10. H&M Conscious Beauty is marginally higher.

Availability: Beauty products are available in approximately 1,200 stores worldwide, often near cash registers to inspire impulse purchases. H&M is developing more stores with dedicated beauty areas to help customers experiment with beauty trends.

Brand curation strategy: H&M Beauty is ‘fashion for the face.’ The retailer views beauty as an important part of personal style, and develops products in-house instead of curating them.

Free People

Brands carried: Free People is a haven for indie brands and natural beauty products. The range is fun and diverse. There is a huge beauty and wellness selection that goes beyond makeup, including oral care, vegan beauty, crystals and aromatherapy, including brands such as Moon Juice, Pai, Luk Beautifood, and Smith & Cult. Nothing is tested on animals.

Target audience: Free People appeals to customers who want to know what are in their products, and who are attracted to a free-spirited lifestyle. Beauty is synonymous with wellness. Price points: Prices range from $6 to $150.
Availability: There are approximately 100 Free People stores, with select stores featuring a dedicated beauty section. The retailer has a strong online presence.
Brand curation strategy: Free People focuses on brands that promote a holistic and natural approach to beauty. The retailer elevates natural beauty, making it hip and fun. Brands have a strong ingredient story.

& Other Stories

Brands carried: & Other Stories features in-house makeup, skin care and bath and body products.

Target audience: & Other Stories is a ‘one-stop styling destination’ for the woman keen on creating her own unique look, according to the retailer’s website.

Price points: Higher prices than H&M, mostly under $25.

Availability: & Other Stories launched in 2013. There are currently 55 stores worldwide. The initial concept was to create a stand-alone beauty brand within the H&M group, however accessories and fashion quickly followed.
Brand curation strategy: & Other Stories’ beauty strategy employs a try-and-buy approach that encourages women to create their own personal style, or story, by mixing and matching their makeup to accessories and ready-to-wear.