January 17, 2021

Wal-Mart Ups Beauty Game, Doubles Down on Trends and Innovation

The Sephorification of Wal-Mart is under way.
On Wednesday, at its Secaucus, N.J. store — one of the retailer’s most heavily trafficked and high-volume locations — company officials offered a rare peek behind the Wal-Mart curtain, touting a slew of initiatives designed to attract consumers to its beauty departments in the increasingly competitive brick-and-mortar beauty space. Industry reports suggest Wal-Mart’s acceleration in beauty expands beyond the store — including talk that Wal-Mart is interested in buying Birchbox. Birchbox declined WWD’s request for comment.
Wal-Mart’s acceleration of beauty is two-pronged — modernization of the shopping experience and enriching the product assortment with trend-driven and exclusive items.
At the Secaucus store — which serves as one of several key test locations around the country — the heightened experience includes a new, illuminated, white-fixtured cosmetics department enhanced with digital components. IPads have been installed in the makeup section to highlight key trends — think sculpted brows and contouring — and interactive “get the look” content. There is a heavy emphasis on trend, with endcaps dedicated to high-growth, social-media-driven categories such as masks.
Wal-Mart is aggressively going after new brands, items and categories that consumers are likely more accustomed to finding in beauty-specific retailers like Sephora and Ulta

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