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更新时间:2014-2-12 12:47:20 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

In Aisle Five, $50 Skin Cream

Shoppers, welcome to the world of 'masstige' skin- and hair-care products -- a retail world where 'mass' players like big-box chains and drugstores sell products similar to the 'prestige' offerings sold at department stores.

Mass brands from Unilever, L'Oreal, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson are boldly pushing up prices to $25 and beyond for products with premium ingredients that target specific problems, selling them alongside traditional $8 moisturizers. Target is taking pricing a big step further, with plans next month to introduce high-end skin-care products including three priced at $55.

Retailers selling these new products are trying to up their game and compete with department stores for beauty purchases. Target, Walgreens and Rite Aid have new display areas with better lighting and fixtures and employees trained to answer questions or offer advice. Even so, young shoppers don't necessarily demand such amenities, relying on YouTube video reviews and social media recommendations to steer them to products before they set foot in a store.

Young women 'care less about what store they are buying at, and more about the product and the product features,' says Virginia Lee, a senior research analyst at research firm Euromonitor. Convenience is key for time-starved shoppers. 'Department stores have limited hours and limited locations, whereas your average drugstore is open to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.'

Skin care is the focal point as stores clamor for a bigger share of the $12 billion industry. Drugstores, such as Walgreens, sold roughly 13% of all skin-care products in 2012, while mass merchandisers, such as Target, sold about 8%. That compares with 17% for department stores, according to Euromonitor.

To justify the higher prices, many so-called masstige products claim to offer solutions to specific problems. 'There's a willingness to pay more to treat that skin because your needs are heightened,' says Rob Candelino, Unilever's vice president of marketing for skin care. Unilever's Dove division this month launched two new masstige brands. Dove DermaSeries is aimed at women with extremely dry skin and priced from $7.99 for a cleansing bar to $19.99 for an eczema 'therapy cream.'

Dove Men+Care's Expert Shave line, meant to address shaving concerns, is priced even higher, ranging from $21.99 for a pre-shave exfoliator to $25.99 for a post-shave 'repair balm.' Mr. Candelino says the growing interesting in men's grooming has shown men are 'less rigid' about price.

'They are much more inclined to say, 'I have a specific need, I want the best quality of product,'' he adds. And the higher price itself is an indicator of quality, he says. 'It supports the fact that there is something unique.'

Next month, Target plans to launch a number of skin-care lines, including newly developed brands and some prestige lines from overseas with a big remodeling of its beauty department. It plans to improve lighting and displays and expand what it calls its beauty 'concierge' program, which puts a trained employee in the section.

The beauty business attracts a mix of two desirable shopper types -- those replenishing staples, who are valued because they build store traffic, and those shopping on impulse, who are 'driven by inspiration,' says Christina Hennington, Target's vice president of beauty and personal care. 'We see guests buying toilet paper and then come over and browse in beauty for a significant amount of time.'

To catch these shoppers' attention, many companies are racing to release new twists on skin-care formulas that were first seen in prestige brands' products, such as last year's influx of BB and CC Creams or the 'blur' wrinkle-camouflaging products hitting shelves now.

'We have to have an obsession about being new, better, different,' says Malena Higuera, senior vice president of marketing for the L'Oreal Paris brand.

Most masstige products go beyond basic cleansing and moisturizing. Often they offer similar active ingredients like Retinol found in a number of products from Johnson & Johnson's Neutrogena and RoC divisions. P&G's Olay brand introduced some of the earliest masstige brands several years ago, including the Regenerist line of anti-aging products and the Pro-X collection designed by dermatologists.

Many drugstores don't have dedicated employees available to explain the complicated benefits, so the masstige product 'really has to sell itself,' says Michelle Ryan, senior vice president of product development at Garnier, owned by L'Oreal. Garnier aims for clear, simple language with diagrams and color coding.

'Boosts wrinkle repair in just 1 step,' reads the box for its Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer. A small cylindrical timeline at the bottom of the box indicates the product is meant to be used after the 'clean' and 'treat' steps.

Masstige products are benefiting as more consumers research skin care online. Anissa Dang first learned about L'Oreal Paris's Youth Code line from a YouTube video. At first, the 24-year-old was skeptical about the price tag. 'Maybe I should take my $25 and go to Nordstrom or Sephora and get a real beauty cream,' she recalls thinking.

But the video review was glowing, and Ms. Dang, who lives in Anchorage, Alaska, sought out the products online and found them at Target for $19.99 each. With the help of some coupons, she bought a serum and a moisturizer for $34, which felt like a bargain compared with department store products and prices, she says.

Mass retailers' hair-care offerings include many brands, including Matrix's Biolage and Unilever's Tigi, that are 'authorized' for sale only in salons, but end up in stores through distributors.

Unilever's Nexxus hair-care line sells at thousands of salons as well as in many approved mass retail outlets. The brand's tagline, 'Salon Hair Care,' has come to mean less about where it is sold and 'more a distinction of the quality of the product,' says David Rubin, vice president of U.S. hair at Unilever. In recent months, Unilever has introduced a line from hair-salon chain Toni & Guy, including styling products that will be sold in both stores and salons.

'There is a common expectation by many consumers that most products are available in lots of different places,' Mr. Rubin says.

It has been more than a decade since Sephora, LVMH's specialty beauty chain, jolted the cosmetics industry with its 'open-sell' environment, bringing products out from behind glass display cases so shoppers could handle them and experiment. Ulta, another retail chain, was among the first to put mass and prestige offerings on the same selling floor. In recent years, drugstores have upgraded makeup displays, adding more opportunities to sample products before purchase.

At Walgreens, shoppers browse the range of products, including mass, 'masstige' and those it calls its own 'prestige' offerings, says Shannon Curtin, the chain's group vice president and general merchandise manager of beauty and personal care. More than three quarters of its shoppers are female. The variety of beauty products a woman might use mirrors the tendency toward high-low mixing in clothes, Ms. Curtin adds.

Overall, beauty shoppers tend to spend more. At Rite Aid, the market basket, or total purchase size, of the beauty shopper is greater than for the standard customer, says Bill Bergin, group vice president of health and beauty. Higher-priced products don't tend to sell as quickly as lower-priced rivals -- nor do they need to.

'At a premium price point,' Mr. Bergin says, 'you don't need to sell as many units to generate the same sales and profit.'


来自联合利华(Unilever)、欧莱雅(L'Oreal)、宝洁(Procter & Gamble)和强生(Johnson & Johnson)等公司的大众品牌正在大胆地将特殊产品的价格涨到25美元及以上,和传统的八美元的保湿霜放在一起卖,这些产品采用针对具体问题的高档原料。塔吉特百货(Target)加价幅度更大,计划下个月推出多种高档护肤产品,包括三种价格55美元的产品。

销售这些新产品的零售商正打算发起攻势,与百货商场在美容产品上竞争。塔吉特、Walgreens和Rite Aid布置了灯光和设备更好的货架,并培训员工解答顾客的问题、提供建议。即便如此,年轻人未必会需要这样的设施,他们会先查看YouTube上的评论和社交媒体上的推荐来了解产品,然后才会去商店购买。

研究公司Euromonitor高级研究分析师弗吉尼亚·李(Virginia Lee)说,年轻女性“不那么在乎东西是在哪家买的,而是越来越在乎产品本身以及产品的特点”。对时间宝贵的人来说,便利是关键。她说:“大商场的营业时间和位置都有限制,而普通药店从早上七点营业到晚上10点。”


为了让高价显得合理,许多所谓的平价奢华产品声称能为特殊问题提供解决方案。联合利华护肤品营销副总裁罗布·坎戴里诺(Rob Candelino)说:“人们愿意花更多的钱护肤,因为你的要求高了。”联合利华旗下品牌多芬(Dove)本月推出了两款新的平价奢华品牌。多芬DermaSeries的目标客户群是极干皮肤的女性,一块洁面皂价格7.99美元,湿疹治疗霜卖19.99美元。

专门解决男士剃须问题的多芬男士+护理专家剃须系列(Men+Care's Expert Shave)定价更高,剃须前去角质膏售价21.99美元,剃须后“修护霜”售价25.99美元。坎戴里诺说,男士对美容日益增加的兴趣表明男士对价格“不那么苛刻”。



塔吉特美容及个人护理业务副总裁克里斯蒂娜·亨宁顿(Christina Hennington)说,美容行业希望吸引两种类型的消费者——一种是定期补充常用护肤品库存的人,商家很重视这个类型,因为他们能增加客流量,另一种是冲动消费的人,这种人“是受到灵感的驱使”。她说:“我们看到顾客买了卫生纸,然后又过来花很长时间逛美容区。”


巴黎欧莱雅(L'Oreal Paris)高级营销副总裁马莱娜·伊格拉(Malena Higuera)说:“我们必须对做到更新、更好、更加出众有一种执着。”


欧莱雅旗下卡尼尔(Garnier)品牌产品研发高级副总裁米歇尔·莱恩(Michelle Ryan)说,很多药店并没有专门的员工负责解释产品复杂的好处,因此平价奢华产品“需要能够自我推销”。卡尼尔产品都尽量用图标和色彩代码传达清晰简单的语言。


如今越来越多的消费者在网上研究护肤品,平价奢华产品开始从这一趋势中受益。24岁的阿妮萨·丹格(Anissa Dang)最初是从一个YouTube视频上知道巴黎欧莱雅青春密码(Youth Code)品牌的。丹格最开始对价格有些怀疑。她回忆起当时自己的想法:“也许我应该拿25美元去诺德斯特龙(Nordstrom)或丝芙兰(Sephora)买一款真正的护肤霜。”



联合利华的Nexxus护发品牌在数千个沙龙以及许多授权大众零售折扣店都有销售。联合利华美国护发产品副总裁大卫·鲁宾(David Rubin)说,Nexxus品牌宣传语“沙龙护发”(Salon Hair Care)已经不再意味着产品在何处销售,而成为了“产品质量的一种辨识度”。近几个月,联合利华从美发连锁店Toni & Guy引进了一个品牌,包括将在商店和美发店同时销售的美发造型产品。



Walgreens集团副总裁兼美容及个人护理产品销售总经理香农·柯廷(Shannon Curtin)说,在Walgreens,顾客会看很多产品,包括大众品牌,“平价奢华产品”,还有那些自称为“高档”的产品。Walgreens四分之三的顾客都是女性。她说,女性所使用美容产品的种类映射了服装高低档混合的趋势。

整体来看,美容产品消费者买东西往往会超支。Rite Aid卫生与美容集团副总裁比尔·伯金(Bill Bergin)说,在Rite Aid,美容产品顾客的总体购买规模比普通消费者要高。高价产品往往没有较低价产品卖得快,也没有必要比它们卖得快。