Daily Insights

The Beauty Business Is Blooming

By: Carly Lear | Jan 23, 2019

On January 17th, Bloomingdale’s introduced a revamped beauty experience to their New York flagship location. The tactic takes into account a bright opportunity for growth within department stores and retail players.

As noted in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores, beauty is a rare growth point for department stores and Bloomingdales’ new design concept showcases an increased prioritization in the category. The beauty floor is now on the first floor immediately visible upon entry. The new layout of the store can be explored through an on-site interactive which allows users to hover over the Bloomingdale’s building on 59th street and click into different floors to find what category they hold. The floor pages each contain stylized floor layouts, store highlights and ‘what’s new’.

To expand its offerings, Bloomingdale’s tapped into some of its beauty partners for high tech and personalized displays, such as Tom Ford Beauty and La Mer. The Tom Ford Beauty counters, for example, have mirrors that record beauty consultations with sales associates which can then be emailed to customers. The La Mer counters will show video product information and application tips when a customer picks up a product displayed. To bolster the reveal, Bloomingdale’s is rolling out 24 in-store events starting January 17th through the end of the month, with topics ranging from Kiehl’s Yoga to Single’s Night Out.

In addition to flashy in-store technology and unique events, Bloomingdale’s announced a new beauty service for flagship shoppers called ‘Beauty Stylists’ where personal shoppers will be available to help customers across all brands carried by Bloomingdale’s rather than brand expertise by counter and can be booked online or in person. According to Bloomingdale’s, the ability to get non-brand biased recommendations and have a seamless online to in-store experience was introduced in order to better reflect the modern shopper. Department stores use digital tools to offer new services and improve ease of shopping, and the share of retailers offering online appointment booking has doubled in the past year. The online appointment booking on Bloomingdales however, leaves much to be desired. The ‘Beauty Stylist’ service is listed under ‘what’s new’ on the flagship interactive but offers no functionality to click through and book an appointment. The store redesign is not cited on the store locator page and new services such as the Beauty Stylists’ are not explained and not listed under beauty services but instead buried 2 clicks under ‘Schedule and In-Store Appointment.’ Bloomingdale’s has noted that they will expand new offerings to other locations depending on success but will need to do a better job of integrating and showcasing online in order to truly stand out as a leader in in-store and digital innovations.