Self-Serve Cosmetics Stores Outshine Counters
Specialty, stand-alone cosmetics stores, including Estee Lauder Cos.’ Origins, M.A.C. and Aveda, have boomed in recent years, threatening a department store staple, analysts say. Shoppers are more than willing to trade big-store cosmetics counters for the self-service makeup meccas, which offer more choices without the insistent sales pitch.
The free-standing format, seen as an alternative to department stores where cosmetics are kept under lock and key, has mushroomed to about a $4-billion business from $800 million in 1991 and is the fastest-growing area in cosmetics retailing, according to Market View, which tracks the U.S. cosmetics industry.
Moderator Comment: Where are specialty stores (aka category
killers) the biggest threat to broad line retailers? [George
Anderson – Moderator]