Beauty brands advance step by step towards what will likely be their future distribution model: their own boutiques. The only experiences they have had in self-distribution until now were corners in department stores. Institute brands, for their part, develop beauty salons in their name (Clarins had 38 worldwide, including 27 of its own in 2007).
Several brands are developing retail concepts in Asia - a region that has become a luxury laboratory. You find three boutiques in Hong Kong within a radius of 20 metres: Chanel, Estée Lauder, Shiseido. They are very well located strategically:
- Boutiques at street level - located in a busy street near Forever 21 and the large Hysan Place shopping mall (with Gap, Hollister, etc.)
- Close to one of the luxury shopping malls (Lee Gardens) - the Chanel boutique is also part of it with two separate entrances (see photos).
Chanel lays emphasis on makeup and perfumes - skincare is relegated to the rear of the boutique.
On the contrary, the Estée Lauder store - which is also a beauty salon - emphasizes skincare (and to a lesser extent, makeup and perfume). It has placed its bestsellers at the entrance (which makes purchasing easier for customers who are less aware of its various collections - and reassure them):
As for the Shiseido boutique, it is dedicated to skincare.
These initiatives should be put in perspective with the Chanel pop-up store that the brand installed in London during the Olympic Games: entirely dedicated to makeup (with a minor presentation of fragrances), it is located in Covent Garden - currently one of the most lively areas in London where mass and premium brands are positioning themselves (a few months ago Tommy Hilfiger had a pop-up store here as well). We thus perceive a choice of quality shopping areas frequented by a young public that is interested in brands.
However, we may question Chanel's strategy, which, in these two cases, highlights makeup (the youngest category and one that makes for the most interesting displays) and perfumes (the 'historical' category that has made the brand famous) leaving skincare largely in the background. This third axis really deserves greater importance!