CEW Hosts Retail Roundtable


Cosmetic Executive Women’s (CEW) Women in Beauty Series hosted a retail roundtable event on October 14 to discuss the current state of beauty retail. The panel discussion featured Marla Malcolm Beck, founder and CEO of Bluemercury, Inc., Karen Grant, vice president and global beauty industry analyst for The NPD Group, Sharon Rothstein, senior vice president of marketing for Sephora USA, and Nancy Schmidt, group vice president/DMM cosmetics-trend and prestige for Macy’s.

Focusing on the panelist’s insights into the minds of consumers and what they are looking for in a brand, the discussion highlighted the strengths and drawbacks in today’s retail marketplace.

“Post recession, we have seen recovery across all channels,” Grant said. “Skincare is leading, makeup is second and fragrance is rising slowly at third.”

In terms of what customers are looking for when they shop, there have been very distinct discoveries. “Our clients are selective,” Rothstein said. “They are doing more product research and looking at ratings and reviews before making an important product decision.”
Ms. Grant added that consumers are looking to invest more in themselves, but they are a bit more cautious and thoughtful than before the recession.

“It’s not about talking to a consumer, but talking with them,” Grant said. “Shoppers are looking for a relationship with a brand or retailer.”
On the topic of social media, Ms. Beck delivered her thoughts on the rise of the new technology. “Driving traffic through email connects consumers to a brand and builds interest, which ultimately increases sales,” Beck said.

Ms. Schmidt talked about the launch of Impulse Beauty in Macy’s stores across the country. “A new assortment of contemporary, trendy merchandise will be available,” Schmidt said. “The customer has really responded to our offering choices.

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Bluemercury's Marla Malcolm Beck, Sharon Rothstein of Sephora USA, NPD Group’s Karen Grant and Nancy Schmidt of Macy’s. Avon/mark.’s Claudia Poccia and Jill Scalamandre of Chrysallis. Firmenich’s Hervé Pierini and Westly Morris with Coty Prestige’s Lori Singer and Carlos Timiraos and Elizabeth Corrigan of Global Beauty Group.
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Macy’s Linda Levy and Nancy McKay of Estée Lauder. Nancy Schmidt with Laurie Dowley of Elizabeth Arden and Michelle Williams Group’s Michelle Williams. Laura Geller Makeup’s Laura Geller with Linda Marshall of Elysée Scientific Cosmetics.
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Arcade’s Diane Crecca with Joe Bierman of Aaron Consulting and Skyn Iceland’s Nikki Koch NPD Group’s Caroline Pisaniello, Diane Nicholson and Judy Sone. Elana Drell Szyfer and Nancy Levitan.
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