Target is aiming to tap into the underserved multiethnic market by diversifying its current beauty assortment with the addition of eight new brands, chosen specifically because of their commitment to formulating makeup for women who have medium-to-dark skin tones. More than 150 skus, including 60-plus shades of foundation, launched on target.com April 17 and is set to debut in select stores on May 20. The eight brands are: Coloured Raine; EveryHue Beauty; Haleys; Hue Noir; Makeup Geek; Reina Rebelde; The Lip Bar and Violet Voss.
“The reality is that we’ve been on a journey for about 10+ years to make sure that we continue to stay relevant with who our guests are and what they expect of us,” said Christina Hennington, Senior Vice President, Essentials and Beauty, Target, at a panel discussion surrounding Target’s continued expansion in the multicultural beauty space. “It started in our hair and skin categories and we recently took a look at where we are in cosmetics and thought, we could do better. Luckily, we found some great options and we think of it as an opportunity to offer a great value that’s not represented in the market today. The range of options starts as low as $9.99 and goes to $24.99, so it’s going to be really accessible and I know our guests are going to be very responsive to the assortment.”
Before the Target partnership, most of the selected brands were only available direct-to-consumer, and to ensure each brand’s success, they will be integrated into Target’s marketing campaigns and press outreach. Notably, the assortment will be placed on the retailer’s most prominent end aisles to ensure visibility.
“It’s quite an investment if you think about space as our asset,” said Christina. “It’s going to be on the front-end aisles for about eight months— we usually turn those over every six weeks. We have put a lot of work into the messaging and the creative, so we are investing our best real estate and we’ll see how things go before it eventually absorbs into the broader set.”
Although all of the brands will be available on Target’s website, they will only be introduced in a select number of stores.
“Building at scale together is important,” said Christina. “It would be irresponsible to overextend ourselves or our partners beyond the ability to be operationally and financially scalable, so we will learn together and grow together.”
Unlike competitors, the retailer does not offer in-store testers to help with shade matching, an almost necessary component to helping women of color ensure the correct selection. To that end, the company is exploring its options.
“We’ve done a lot to improve the in-store experience so guests can find their foundations easily, and we’ve also changed our dot-com experience, for foundation particularly,” explained Jasmine Foster, Senior Buyer, Target.
“We are seeing that our guests are really engaged with the online feature of being able to click into the shade categories and find all the offerings we that have.”
Last year, Target began investing in a beauty concierge service in all of its stores, which Christina said will also be helpful in assisting consumers find solutions and discover the new brands.
“Having an army of beauty enthusiasts who know how to engage with the customer, and be able to help explain and find the right foundation, is a game-changer for us and we think it’s going to be a compelling way to drive awareness, as well as hep the guest find the right options,” said Christina.
The company is also starting to look at the idea of event-based sample and trial opportunities every day or on weekends so it can become a part of the consumer’s routine experience at Target. They are also looking at the role technology can play helping guests try on product and experiment.
While Christina declined to provide expected sales figures for the new brands, she noted that the multicultural market is big and there are gaps, so they expect the response to the new offerings to be high.
As for the future, Target will find a path towards more growth for diverse brands over time.
“Right now, we’re excited to launch these eight brands, see how our guests respond to them and be able to build from there,” said Jasmine. “At Target we’re always looking for new brands to add to our portfolio to make sure we’re able to serve our guests in the best way and meet all of their needs, so there’s more to come.”