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How Sephora Is Thriving Amid a Retail Crisis - The New York Times
By LAURA M. HOLSONMAY 11, 2017

Much has been written about the crisis in retail, with shoppers deserting department stores for e-tailers and fast fashion, if they shop at all. The beauty business, though, has not had the same fate. Prestige beauty sales in the United States rose 6 percent in the 12 months ending in February, tallying $15.9 billion, according to the market research company NPD Group. Makeup alone is up 11 percent, totaling $7.3 billion. But that industry, too, is in the midst of its own upheaval, driven in part by the success of stores such as Sephora, the No. 1 specialty beauty retailer in the world....Bloggers and YouTube stars, Instagram videos and virtual assistants are replacing department store sales clerks, whose customers now know as much as they do (or more) about mermaid eyes and ombré lips. Brand loyalty is out, replaced by Sephora’s try-more-buy-more ethos. Friends hold as much sway these days as trained experts....two out of five women between ages 18 and 54 wear five or more makeup products every day. “It defines the selfie-obsessed, image-driven culture of our time,” .... There are more voices. And we are trying to cut through the confusion,” in part by allowing customers to try before they buy.....“It is easy to kill time, play around with things and then spend more money than I should,” ...“I am experimenting a lot, trying to figure out what I like.” She doesn’t shop at department stores. “I don’t associate [Sephora] with makeup,”....In 2015, Sephora opened its Innovation Lab in a converted warehouse in San Francisco to experiment with ways to combine mobile apps and in-store shopping into a cohesive experience. As a result of their efforts, customers can have as little or as much personal contact they want in stores ...Now department stores are scrambling to follow suit.
Sephora  beauty  retailers  crisis  LVMH  Instagram  brands  millennials  social_media  digital_influencers  experimentation  time_sink  play  Macy’s  Bloomingdale’s  cosmetics  makeup  customer_experience  experiential_marketing  image-driven  self-absorbed  fast_fashion  in-store 
may 2017 by jerryking
Web Retailers, Now With Stores, Teach New Tricks - WSJ
By SUZANNE KAPNER
Aug. 11, 2015 | WSJ

Retailers have been stealing ideas from online rivals about how to run websites for years. Now they are borrowing ways to run brick-and-mortar stores.

In Manhattan Beach, Calif., Macy’s Inc. revamped its swimsuit and workout sections this spring to display only samples, a strategy used by online retailers that have opened physical stores.

Instead of stuffing racks with every size and style in these departments, Macy’s displayed only one item of each style. Shoppers used an app on their mobile phones to alert Macy’s sales staff of the style and size they wanted to try on and that item was sent to a specified dressing room.

By not putting all the sizes on the sales floor, Macy’s was able to display more styles and avoid the tangle of hangers. Shoppers didn’t have to go back and forth into the fitting rooms to find the right size. The effort sought to marry the ease of online with something the Internet can’t offer—the ability to see, touch and try on goods.
retailers  apparel  e-commerce  inventories  Macy’s  bricks-and-mortar  mobile_applications  mobile_phones  experiential_marketing 
august 2015 by jerryking
Same-Day Service for Online Shoppers: More Home Delivery, In-Store Pickup - WSJ
By ELIZABETH HOLMES
Updated Dec. 9, 2014

Retailers are poised with two get-it-now solutions. Shoppers can buy online and pick up in stores, the more widely available same-day option. Or, they can get same-day home delivery, the Holy Grail of e-commerce.

Once the domain of restaurants and florists, same-day delivery has expanded to tech giants like Google, and Amazon is experimenting with bike messengers and drones. Meanwhile, stores like Macy’s , Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus are getting in on the game, offering some online shoppers that same-day gratification, either at no charge or for a nominal fee....The more commonly offered option to buy online and pick up in store—known in the industry as “BOPIS”—is an important step for retailers toward “omnichannel” operations, or integrated online and in-store inventory.

Gap Inc., operator of Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy stores and websites, began inviting Web and mobile shoppers last year to “reserve in store.” The shopper reserves an item and a specific pick-up location using one of the brand websites or apps. An employee picks the item from the selling floor and scans it to confirm the size and style. Shoppers receive an email or text when the order is ready....To make same-day delivery cost effective, Deliv looks to aggregate pickups and deliveries, says Daphne Carmeli, Deliv’s founder and chief executive. Sending one driver to pick up one package and deliver it in one hour would cost between $20 and $22. When the driver picks up and delivers two packages, those costs are halved. “It doesn’t take much pooling to get down to this disruptive price,” Ms. Carmeli says.
retailers  logistics  e-commerce  speed  delivery  home-delivery  Deliv  same-day  omnichannel  Macy’s  Bloomingdale’s  Neiman_Marcus  web  rooming  BOPIS  in-store 
december 2014 by jerryking

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