Over the next two weekends, Sears will open beauty departments in 13 locations, and - in an unprecedented move - mix the usual department store prestige beauty with mass brands usually found in drugstores.
Sears will be the first department store to include mass beauty products in its mix, pairing brands like Cover Girl and L'Oreal with more upscale names like Yves Rocher (for which they'll have the US exclusive) and Calvin Klein. But in the usual department store model, the beauty section will be manned by vendor-trained consultants who earn commission.
"Customers have indicated a strong willingness to purchase higher quality, moderately priced beauty products, in a customer focused environment at Sears," Andrea Goldner, a spokesperson for beauty at Sears, told StyleList via email. "A full service beauty department will complete "head to toe" look when shopping apparel."
It's a bold move by Sears, one that we think makes sense in this economy, especially since drug stores are no longer found in malls. Stocking mass separates Sears from the competition: Rival JCPenney partnered with Sephora to open 43 beauty store-within-store concepts around the nation. While JCPenney's decision to expand this concept demonstrates that the partnership is a success, they are locked in to Sephora's prestige assortment.
Sears' model gives them leeway to stock mass brands that offer products at price points that may make more sense in today's economy, and act as a one-stop-shop to clients who want to get all their shopping done in one place.