Still, hope springs eternal and the new beauty departments began rolling out in March. According to sources, Sears expects to outfit 400 stores with the beauty department by the end of 2012. There are 890 full-line Sears-branded stores in the U.S. and Canada.
The beauty centers stock established drugstore beauty brands such as L’Oréal, Cover Girl, Maybelline, Revlon and Physicians Formula, as well as skin care, fragrance and nail care items. But there are also masstige-type brands such as Ahava, Lumene, Dermalogica, Burt’s Bees and StriVectin, said industry sources. Sears has yet to attract a true prestige beauty brand, but the hire of cosmetics buyer Jerri Koplowitz, formerly of Macy’s, could help the retailer develop relationships with the upscale set, according to sources.
Furthermore, with more drugstore chains fleeing shopping malllsthroughout America, Sears could have the mass market customer to itself in these arenas, according to industry experts. However, one vendor said the objective is to develop an exclusive beauty concept in mall-based stores that combines mass, midtier, specialty and prestige brands. The thinking is that having all these tiers under one nameplate would give Sears an advantage over department store anchors. It would also help attract a more youthful shopper, or women 18 to 40 years old.
Hmmm, the project has barely gotten out of the starting gate and the objective already seems muddled. Don't be surprised if Sears abandons beauty once again in two years or so.