Mass x Prestige Beauty Shop-in-Shop Partnerships

Target and ULTA. Sephora and Kohl’s. These are just a couple of the household names teaming up on ‘shop-in-shop’ concepts that are steadily proving to be on the up and up. 

A store within a store if you will, a shop-in-shop is a retailer or brand that opens its own smaller retail space inside another retailer’s brick and mortar location. This space could range from the size of a kiosk to the size of a full-blown mini store. For shoppers, it’s all about the convenience of being able to find everything they need in one place. For retail brands and partners, the concept could provide an opportunity to expand their brand presence and messaging to a wider audience – yet many of the brands partnering on shop-in-shops are highly successful in their own right and operate existing, successful standalone stores. 

So one may wonder, what does the shop-in-shop concept offer that companies don’t already have and why is this concept on the rise?

“67% of consumers have changed spending patterns to watch costs since Covid-19.”

This partnership of mass and prestige has undoubtedly been inspired by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers are shopping differently these days, being more mindful of their spending. NielsenIQ reported that “67% of consumers have changed spending patterns to watch costs since Covid-19.” In addition, customer expectations are higher than ever, particularly around delivery and convenience. By tapping into a partner’s existing operations, other retailers can meet those expectations as well, without doing it alone and cutting costs.

In turbulent times, brands also want to reduce risks. Shop-in-shop concepts are a smart and efficient way for retailers to team up, meet the current day needs of their consumers and thrive through difficult times.

Retailers and brands have also placed huge emphasis on omni-channel shopping. Omni-channel shopping is a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide customers

with a seamless shopping experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a brick-and-mortar store. Omni Shopping behaviors had shifted in 2021 and according to NielsenIQ, 65% of consumers have ordered beauty products online, totaling 33% of all beauty sales. Stores such as Target offer an ease of accessibility through varied fulfillment options including in-store, online, Drive Up and Shipt Same Day Delivery. Omnichannel shopping gives consumers ultimate access to their Target shopping needs and as of recently, their ULTA beauty shopping needs too, all in one convenient shopping trip, online order or delivery.  

Target X ULTA

As if Target didn’t already have a way to get their consumers to buy more than they intended, enter ULTA! ULTA Beauty debuted in over 100 Target locations and their successful partnership announced plans to add more than 250 locations in 2022. Following the initial openings, this shop-in-a-shop format is slated to open up to 800 locations over the next few years.

The ULTA-Target shops are approximately 1,000 square feet and are located next to the existing beauty sections at Target. Locations host more than 50 “specially curated prestige brands,” bringing in prestige makeup, skin-care, hair-care and fragrance items into Target stores for the first time.

Beauty consumers will also get to benefit from two rewards programs, Target Circle and ULTAmate Rewards with this new concept. This allows coupon-Savvy customers to make the most of their shopping experience by racking up points… spend more, save more.

Kohl’s X Sephora

You may recall Sephora inside J.C. Penny locations and Sephora’s launch into Kohl’s was a bold move after the legacy department chain announced bankruptcy and the plans to close 30% of their 846 stores. J.C. Penny has permanently closed 156 locations since May 2020 due to bankruptcy. However, Sephora saw the value in successful shop-in-shop partnerships and in the fall of 2021, Kohl’s and Sephora partnered up to announce a major long term strategic partnership bringing a transformative and elevated shopping experience to millions of consumers nationwide. “Sephora at Kohl’s” features a 2,500-square-foot layout that focuses on makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance brands, as well as innovations in clean beauty and self-care. Sephora-trained advisors even offer personalized beauty consultations and assistance with finding products.

Sephora at Kohl’s currently total 600 stores and puts the partnership on track to meet its 850-store goal by 2023.This shop-in-shop partnership has proven to be a perfect match! A recent study from showed that the recent partnership between the makeup brand and department store has led to an increase in foot traffic at Kohl’s locations with Sephora inside, compared to stores without. 

Increased foot traffic, increased sales, brand exposure, customer convenience and satisfaction, it appears that the shop-in-shop concept is checking all of the boxes and is here to stay. For more beauty industry trends, data and insights, follow @PremierExecutiveRecruiting on LinkedIn.

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