Over the past few years Target Stores have been really upping their game in the beauty area, adding lines from names like Jemma Kidd and Napoleon Perdis and revamping the look of the department to have a more premium feel.
And now the mass retailer has added what is arguably the most upscale touch of all – a human face. Last month they launched a test Beauty Concierge program in 28 stores in the Chicago area. Fourteen full-time Beauty Concierge advisors are assigned to cover two stores each, to “act as” a friendly face in what can often be an intimidating department.
Like the beauty consultants of high-end department stores they dress in chic black – instead of Target red – and wear aprons and nametags to identify themselves. But better than traditional department stores, they’ll be armed with a mirror, iPad, a stash of product samples and the ability to provide “detailed, unbiased information” about the multiple beauty brands Target carries, as well as practical beauty tips. Word has it that if the test is successful it will roll out to about 450 Target stores.
Overcoming shopper confusion in categories where decision-making is complex is a challenge modern big-box retailers have wrung their hands over for years. The industry has pursued increasingly sophisticated POS and tech solutions for delivering shopper information and education at shelf.
Kudos to Target for realizing there’s nothing like the human touch, a live person/advisor who can listen to my concerns then give a personalized answer, hopefully with reassurance and a smile – especially in a category as emotional and personal as beauty.