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European makeup brand essence has gained more shelf space in the Canadian retail market, thanks to a recent mega retail merger.
essence, which is owned by German cosmetics company Cosnova GmbH, is known for fun and affordable makeup products, with an average retail price of just $3.69.
The brand made its Canadian debut in 2012, under an exclusive distribution partnership with Shoppers Drug Mart. With the 2014 acquisition of Shoppers having brought the drug store chain under the ownership of Loblaw Companies Ltd., essence has now gained a massive new distribution network.
In addition to its presence within Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores, essence is gaining real estate this spring within certain Loblaws grocery stores.
Under the new distribution arrangement, designated Loblaws stores will carry twice as many essence products compared with the amount of essence merchandise available at Shoppers Drug Mart. Loblaws stores will also carry certain exclusive essence products that are not available anywhere else in the Canadian market.
The essence brand seems a good fit for Loblaws, where its in-house fashion and cosmetics brand, Joe Fresh, shares a similar philosophy of trendy items for affordable prices.
At a downtown Toronto event in late February, essence showcased its spring makeup collection, including certain Loblaws exclusives. The new collection features plenty of pastels and bright spring colours that are sure to attract shoppers as the products make their debut on the shelves of their new retail partner.
U.S. cosmetics company Mary Kay Inc. is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year – and its 35th year in Canada – and the alternative distribution model that the company launched half a century ago shows no signs of going away.
Although this strategy strikes me as one that would limit the brand’s scope of potential customers – since many people likely more comfortable buying products in stores rather than through a catalogue – it clearly hasn’t hampered Mary Kay’s success.
In total, the company has 2.5 million beauty consultants and $3 billion in global annual sales. That seems like a large enough scope, to me.
Having personally ordered products through a beauty consultant in the past, I can see why the model works. By buying products through a consultant, consumers immediately associate the brand with a friendly face and a personalized experience.
The scope of the interaction goes much farther than a typical interaction with a sales associate in a store. Mary Kay consultants form relationships with their clients, making individual product recommendations based on each client’s age, skin type and personal taste.
And, they keep in regular contact via phone, email and mail-out catalogues. For example, my Mary Kay consultant often gives me a call right around the time she suspects my last purchase is running out, and sure enough, I’m usually ready to order a refill.
Some other retailers have pretty savvy email campaigns and customer service initiatives, but nothing quite compares to a personal phone call from someone you’ve gotten to know.
Clearly, the beauty brand has found a model that still seems to be working 50 years later.
The company also keeps customers coming back by continuously revamping its product lineup. In total, it offers more than 200 products, including a men’s skin care and fragrance line that launched a couple years ago.
In celebration of Mary Kay’s 50th year, it has launched a special edition lip gloss in a shimmery colour called, fittingly, ‘Celebrate’. And, $1 from the sale of each lip gloss will be donated to the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation, in support of its efforts to assist women living with the appearance-related side effects of cancer and its treatments as well as those affected by domestic violence.
European beauty brand essence celebrated its one-year anniversary in the Canadian market this week, with a soiree in Toronto’s east-end.
To celebrate its Canada-versary, Toronto guests were pampered with manicures and makeovers, allowing them the opportunity to try some of the brand’s newest spring-line products first-hand.
essence products are known for being trendy and fun, yet amazingly affordable. The brand is available in more than 50 countries around the world, and in 10 of those countries, it’s the market leader.
The lineup of products is extensive, including nail polishes, lipsticks, lip glosses, mascaras, eye liners, powders, eye shadows, brushes and more. And the products are constantly changing: essence releases six new and limited edition collections each year, as a way of keeping shoppers coming back for the next trendy item.
The truly amazing part is the price. In Canada, the products range from about $2-$5 – including $2.99 for essence Stay With Me Long-Lasting Lipgloss, $4.99 for essence Stays No Matter What 24-Hour Waterproof Volume Mascara, and $3.49 for essence 3D Duo Eyeshadow.
In a world where cosmetics seem to get more expensive each time I visit stores like Sephora, those prices are extremely hard to beat – and almost hard to believe.
Based on the big turnout at the anniversary bash, it appears shoppers have welcomed the brand into the Toronto market with open arms.