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Avon Names Conversano Head Of Company's Expanded Digital Operations

July 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Avon Products, Inc. announced the appointment of Benedetto Conversano as SVP and Chief Digital and Information Technology Officer effective September 3, 2018. Conversano will succeed GVP and Chief Information Officer Sue Liddie and will assume additional duties and responsibilities as head of the company's digital strategy. He was Chief Global Information Officer at Jeronimo Martins where he was in charge of the international food, health and beauty retailer's B2C transformation.[Image Credit: © Avon Products, Inc.]
"Avon to step change digital with appointment of new Chief Digital Officer", PR Newswire , July 30, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Birchbox Launches Redesigned Website To Emphasize Subscription Box Service

July 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Birchbox Inc. has redesigned its website to highlight its monthly subscription box services. According to the company, the relaunched website comes with a “streamlined product selection”, a more user-friendly navigation menu, and better-looking design, compared with the previous version of the online home. Also, the company plans to change the website's design theme every month. [Image Credit: © Birchbox, Inc.]
Stephanie Crets, "Birchbox simplifies its site with redesign", Digital Commerce 360, July 27, 2018, © Vertical Web Media LLC
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Lime Crime Marks 10th Year By Opening For Business At Selfridges

July 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Lime Crime, makeup brand with cult following, celebrated its 10th anniversary by launching its products at Selfridges' beauty department. Know for its “colorful, vegan and cruelty-free products”, Lime Crime was launched when online beauty retail or ecommerce was relatively beginning. Its popularity among YouTube beauty bloggers helped make the company popular. According to the company, its decision to launch in Selfridges was prompted by the fact that the UK is its second largest market.[Image Credit: © Lime Crime]
Fiona Ma , "Digital First Beauty Brand, Lime Crime Unveils First European Retail Presence in Selfridges", Women’s Wear Daily, July 27, 2018, © Penske Media Corporation
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L'Oreal Partners With Casino Group To Open Multi-Brand Pharmacies In Paris

July 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
L'Oreal's pharmacy business Le Drugstore Parisien has partnered with mass retailer Casino Group to open the first two multi-brand pharmacy stores in Paris. Located in the city's high-end 6th and 9th districts, the stores sell a wide range of products, including cosmetics, dry cleaning, accessories, and snacks. L'Oreal brands, such as L'Oreal Paris, Maybelline, and Garnier, will also be featured.[Image Credit: © L'Oreal]
Sarah Parsons , "Le Drugstore Parisien: L'Oréal reinvents retail pharmacy with new multi-brand store concept", Cosmetics Business, July 26, 2018, © HPCi Media
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MDacne's Online Payment Deal With AskToPay Makes It Easy For Teenagers To Complete Transactions

July 25, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Dermatology company MDacne has signed a partnership with AskToPay, an online payment platform for teenagers. One of Mastercard's startup of the year awardees, AskToPay allows teenagers, MDacne's target market, to send payment requests to their parents and complete their transaction with the acne treatment company. Teenagers will find AskToPay's technology convenient to use, the payment service provider said. [Image Credit: © MDalgorithms Inc.]
"MDacne Partners with AskToPay for Revolutionary Sales Solution for Teens", PR Newswire , July 25, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Bulldog Launches Shower Gel In Environment-Friendly Refill Box

July 24, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


UK-based men's grooming company Bulldog has announced the launch of the Original Shower Gel Refill Box. To be sold exclusively at Whole Foods from August 2018 and on the company's online store, the product contains the equivalent of 25 bottles of shower gel. This is to help reduce plastic packaging waste, the company said.[Image Credit: © Bulldog Skincare Limited]
Lucy Whitehouse , "Bulldog’s new refillable product reduces plastic waste by 85%", Cosmetics Design Europe, July 24, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Kanebo Subsidiary Launches MemoMi Digital Mirror Service

July 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Japanese beauty brand Kanebo’s subsidiary, e’quipe, Ltd., plans to launch a service featuring the digital mirror developed by Silicon Valley-based MemoMi Labs Inc. Buyers of SUQQU brand of cosmetics can experience the service while receiving a Gankin facial muscle massage at some retail stores. According to the company, a built-in digital image recorder will record the facial massage session and sends the video to the customer’s smartphone.[Image Credit: © memomi]
"e’quipe to Introduce MemoMi Labs Digital Mirror", Beauty Packaging, July 23, 2018, © Rodman Media
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Ancora Investment Holdings Invests In Vapour Organic Beauty

July 23, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Ancora Investment Holdings said it has invested in Vapour Organic Beauty, a natural luxury cosmetics brand. Founded by natural cosmetics industry pioneers Krysia Boinis and Kristine Keheley, Vapour Organic Beauty focuses on making high-end natural color cosmetics. Its mission is to serve a diverse clientele made up consumers from across age, race, and gender groups, the company said. [Image Credit: © Vapour Beauty LLC]
"Ancora Partners With Vapour Organic Beauty", PR Newswire , July 23, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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HiMirror Measures Skin, Recommends Treatment Options

July 21, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
HiMirror, an internet-connected smart mirror, lets users scan and analyze their skin. Designed as an “at-home beauty and fitness consultant”, the device allows users to sign in with their face and access its functions using an interactive touchscreen. Its daily skin analysis gauges 10 indicators, presenting the results as a slide show or through a mobile app. Equipped with LEDs, the mirror includes five lighting settings and lets users zoom. [Image Credit: © Cal-Comp Big Data, Inc.]
Katie Strick, "The future of beauty? A magic mirror that scores your skin and plays fitness consultant", The Evening Standard, July 21, 2018, © Evening Standard Ltd
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Meitu Opens Meivolution Festival Highlighting AI Technologies For Beauty Applications

July 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Meitu Inc., developer of an online beauty ecosystem with 450 million users, launched its first Meivolution Festival in Shanghai, China. Combining the Chinese character Mei, which means beauty, with the English word evolution, the event marks the first time the company hosts an offline event. During the festival, Meitu users can join their communities and friends using photography, augmented reality, and image optimization technologies offered by the company. Also, during the event, Meitu will highlight technologies, including artificial intelligence for testing skin quality and providing make-up tips.[Image Credit: © Meitu]
Zhu Shenshen, "Beauty app holds its first off-line party in Shanghai", Shine.cn, July 20, 2018, © Shanghai Daily
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Innisfree Introduces New Retail-Equipped Store In China

July 20, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Korean cosmetics company Innisfree launched its first New Retail store in China. Located at the Li Xing Shopping Plaza in the country’s Hangzhou region, the store comes with New Retail digital and interactive features. Developed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma in 2016, New Retail is designed to use technology to combine online and offline shopping “into one comprehensive channel”. It offers customers convenience whether buying through an app or at an offline store. New Retail features include Magic Mirror, an AR-enabled technology which lets consumers virtually try makeup products; Smart Skin Analyzer, which analyzes the user’s skin and recommends the best Innisfree products based on the skin report; and Vending Machine, which lets consumers buy products at discounted prices using the Taobao mobile app.[Image Credit: © Innisfree Corporation]
Jenny W. Hsu, "Innisfree Rejuvenates Its Store Experience in China", Alizila.com, July 20, 2018, © Alibaba Group Holding Limited
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Olay Uses AI-Enabled Marketing To Double Sales Conversion Rate

July 19, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Skincare brand Olay has doubled its sales conversion rate by using artificial intelligence to help focus and personalize its marketing. According to Nara Logics CEO, Jana Eggers, Olay’s Skin Advisor online skin-advisor tool has engaged more than 4 million customers. Nara Logics uses for Olay the same machine learning algorithm that is used for the U.S. intelligence community, Eggers said. She also said companies planning to use AI need not hire people with data science Ph.D.’s, with software engineers usually capable of and excited about using the technology.[Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]
Matt Marshall, "How Olay used AI to double its conversion rate", VentureBeat, July 19, 2018, © VentureBeat
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Technology-Driven Personalized Marketing Lets Beauty Retailers Avoid Bankruptcy Fate Suffered By Other Retailers

July 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty retailers’ adoption of technology to create personalized marketing has helped them avoid the bankruptcies affecting the rest of the retail market. Data from the timeline released by CB Insights in March 2018 showed beauty retail is growing faster than the apparel and footwear segment of the retail market. Marketing technology investments made by beauty retailers include L’Oreal’s acquisition of ModiFace, a company that integrates augmented reality into apps operated by several beauty brands, including retailer Sephora. Department stores, including Target and Saks Fifth Avenue, are implementing AR-enabled apps and platforms. 
Mike O'Brien, "Why beauty retailers are leading the way in digital transformation", ClickZ, July 12, 2018, © ClickZ
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Facebook Lets Advertisers Use AR To Display Products On News Feed

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Facebook has announced plans to allow advertisers to display their products on its Messenger and News Feed platforms using new technologies, including augmented reality. Facebook VP for product marketing for global marketing solutions, Ty Ahmad-Taylor, introduced AR-enabled ads that let consumers virtually try on sunglasses and makeup products. Beauty brand Michael Kors was the first advertiser to try AR ads, which include a “Tap to try it on” option.[Image Credit: © Facebook, Inc.]
Anthony Ha, "Facebook is testing augmented reality ads in the News Feed", Tech Crunch, July 10, 2018, © Oath Tech Network
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Look Fabulous Forever Borrows Home Selling Concept From Avon

July 10, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Look Fabulous Forever, a beauty brand that specializes on selling color cosmetic products to older women, has launched a sales-representative-led marketing program. Similar to Avon’s direct-to-consumer selling strategy, the company’s “Beauty Playground” home selling program lets sales representatives host sales parties aimed at target consumers.[Image Credit: © Look Fabulous Forever]
Becky Bargh , "Look Fabulous Forever adopts Avon rep-style selling initiative", Cosmetics Business, July 10, 2018, © HPCi Media Limited
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Malavara Launches First Haircare Product For UK Market

July 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

UK beauty brand Malavara has released its first haircare product, the Ultra Luxuriant Hair Elixir. Developed in partnership with organic chemists, the product is a pre-shampoo formula designed to help reduce hair damage and breakage. According to the company, the product includes alma, brahmi, and other natural ingredients that help enhance microcirculation. With a recommended retail price of 29 pounds, the product is available online at malavara.co.uk.[Image Credit: © Washworks Bodycare Ltd ]
Becky Bargh, "New beauty brand Malavara reveals debut hair product for UK market", Cosmetics Business, July 09, 2018, © HPCi Media Limited
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Beauty Marketers Enlist AI Apps For Personalized Campaigns

July 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Beauty brands are adopting artificial intelligence technologies, including augmented reality, to create personalized marketing. With 70 percent of American women beauty buyers claiming being overwhelmed by product choices in a May 2018 survey by marketing firm Automat, beauty marketers see the need to provide consumers with product recommendations tailored to their needs. Beauty retailer Sephora’s Virtual Artist, for example, lets users upload photos in Messenger to virtually try on lipstick shades recommended by bots. However, marketers need to convince consumers to try and be comfortable with AI-enabled initiatives, with about a third of respondents saying they were unsure about using a virtual beauty advisor.[Image Credit: © Sephora USA, Inc.]
Krista Garcia, "Beauty Marketers Are Getting Personal with AI", eMarketer , July 03, 2018, © eMarketer Inc
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Colgate-Palmolive Invests In Hubble To Sell Products Via Subscription Boxes

July 2, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Colgate-Palmolive Co. plans to purchase a minority stake in Hubble, an online startup retailer. As part of the deal, Hubble would create new online subscriptions for some Colgate products. Expected to start in 2018, the first subscription will provider customers with oral care products, including teeth whitening. Other product types, such as pet food, are still being considered, the companies said.[Image Credit: © Colgate-Palmolive Company]
Rob Copeland and Sharon Terlep, "A Toothpaste Club? Colgate to Invest in Online Startup", Wall Street Journal, July 02, 2018, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Direct-To-Consumer Channels Boost US Beauty Brands’ 2017 Sales Growth, Report Finds

June 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A recent study from market research company Kline showed that sales in direct-to-consumer channels are growing faster than other channels in the US. The report, Beauty Retailing USA: Channel Analysis and Opportunities, found that sales on home shopping, social media and direct-to-consumer e-commerce platforms together grew 13% last year. Brands like Glossier and Kim Kardashian's KKW Beauty, for example, are using pop-up shops to reach and appeal to more customers by offering a personalized experience, and retailers are being forced to enhance the in-store customer experience, particularly through technology, to compete. 
Austyn King, "Engaging experiences: The secret to success in beauty retail?", Cosmetics Business, June 28, 2018, © HPCi Media Ltd.
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Fenty Beauty Launches Pop-Up Series

June 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna opened its pop-up series, starting with a Moroccan spice markets-inspired theme to match the brand’s fall 2018 collection. The debut was held at The Pennsy in Pennsylvania Plaza, where two tents were set up to allow guests try Fenty products with the help of the brand’s global makeup artists. The collection officially launched globally July 6 and the pop-up series continued with a Brooklyn setup June 28, while the final one took place at the Seaport district the following day.[Image Credit: © Kendo Holdings, Inc.]
Alexa Tietjen, "Fenty Beauty Hosts First Pop-up Series, Inspired by Moroccan Spice Markets ", Women’s Wear Daily, June 27, 2018, © Penske Media Corp.
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Lush Launches Limited Edition Products Chosen By Online Communities

June 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand Lush has launched a new concept, offering limited runs of old and new products, chosen by the brand’s communities and “super fans” on social media. ‘Community Products’ is a way of using consumer engagement to support innovation. Each product will be launched as a limited edition and produced only in small batches, available first and exclusively on the UK website, and later extended to other markets globally over the summer. [Image Credit: © skeeze]
Lucy Whitehouse, "Lush Community Products Launch: responding to consumer feedback ", Cosmetics Design Europe , June 26, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd.
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Tengram Capital Acquires Lime Crime, Plans Brand’s Retail Partnerships

June 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Private equity firm Tengram Capital Partners has acquired Lime Crime, a vegan and cruelty-free makeup brand known for its use of vibrant colors. Terms were not disclosed, but Tengram plans to support Lime Crime’s growth strategy, building on its flagship online store and developing further retail partnerships. Stacy Panagakis takes over as CEO and brings experience in direct-to-consumer strategies as the brand looks to expand its footprint and offerings.[Image Credit: © Lime Crime]

"Lime Crime Announces Acquisition by Tengram Capital Partners", PRNewswire , June 18, 2018, © PR Newswire
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P&G’s Gillette Struggles As Rivals Boost Distribution, Direct-To-Consumer Offers

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Procter & Gamble’s razor brand Gillette is facing increasing pressure as competitors take market share through broader distribution and direct-to-consumer offerings. CFO Jon Moeller outlined these issues and a growth plan for the brand to protect and boost sales. Gillette reportedly holds a 60% share of the $15 billion shave care sector, but rivals like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club are eroding that. Both have taken their online subscription models into Europe, and Harry’s is also available in major retail chains, including Walmart and Target. P&G responded to the challenge by reducing its prices last year. It has also re-launched its online subscription business, Gillette on Demand, and introduced a number of innovations. Moeller was optimistic on volume trends, with the male shaving category in the US posting volume growth for four successive quarters. He also expects shipment growth to translate into stronger sales as lower prices take effect.[Image Credit: © Procter & Gamble]

Barrett Brunsman, "P&G CFO outlines challenges to Gillette, baby care brands", Cincinnati Business Courier, June 15, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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St. Ives Brings Back Do-It-Yourself Mixing Bar In New York

June 15, 2018: 12:00 AM EST


Unilever’s St. Ives natural skin care brand opened its second do-it-yourself Mixing Bar in New York, following its pop-up debut last year, in an effort to engage closer with its consumers. The store encourages visitors to create their own products such as scrubs, body lotions and moisturizers, and it features an e-commerce facility for consumers nationwide to buy the brands’ products directly. The store is open until the end of the year, and is located in the Flatiron district. [Image Credit: © auntmasako @ Pixabay.com]

"Unilever’s St. Ives Mixing Bar Invites DIY Beauticians", Brandchannel, June 15, 2018, © Interbrand
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Korean Makeup Brand Offers An Array Of Products With The “Scent Of A Coca-Cola”

June 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Although the connection with its “total beverage company” strategy is little more than a scent, Coca-Cola is nevertheless expanding into cosmetics in a limited-time venture with a Korean beauty brand. The connection in fact is literally a specific bouquet: the brand’s new lipsticks, lip tints, lip glosses, foundation compacts, powders, and eye shadows – many tinted in red, pink, and coral – are all redolent of Coke. The packaging also captures the Coca-Cola look of red and white, and the lip glosses “have a super cute, candy-striped wand,” according to British news website Metro. The products are being sold in South Korea, but are also available online

Lisa Bowman, "Coca Cola launches limited edition makeup line in South Korea", Metro, June 14, 2018, © Associated Newspapers Limited
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South Korea's Dorco Joins The Online Subscription Razor Market In The UK

June 14, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

In recent years, the UK has witnessed a boom in the online subscription shaving market and Dorco, a 60-year-old South Korean brand, is one of the players that entered the scene along with brands like Dollar Shave Club, Cornerstone, Bic, and Gillette. Dorco set up its UK Commerce site in 2015, marking its first expansion into Europe. A household name in South Korea, Dorco aims to expand in the UK by highlighting its Korean heritage, friendly messaging and by offering blades and razors for both men and women. Its vertically integrated business model allows it to set competitive prices and control quality, and Dorco says it is open to collaboration with other brands in creating grooming accessory kits.[Image Credit: © Dorco Europe Ltd]

Charlotte Rogers , "Meet the South Korean brand taking on the UK subscription shaving market", Marketing Week, June 14, 2018, © Centaur Communications Ltd (a member of the Centaur Media plc group)
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Madison Reed Unveils DIY Balayage Highlighting Kit

June 13, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Direct-to-consumer hair color brand Madison Reed launched its first do-it-yourself highlighting kit, Light Works, a two-step process which involves first lightening and then toning for a balayage look. The ammonia-free kit also includes one application of Bond Building Cleansing Treatment for strengthening the newly-treated hair. Light Works kits are available at Madison-Reed.com, and will aso appear at Madison Reed Color Bars and at Ulta, online and in stores.[Image Credit: © MADISON REED, INC.]

"Madison Reed Brings Balayage To Home Users", Happi.com, June 13, 2018, © Rodman Media Corp
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Manscaped, Dr. Squatch Create Limited-Edition Grooming Kit

June 12, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

San Diego-based direct-to-consumer male vanity brands Manscaped and Dr. Squatch Soap have collaborated to create the Tame Your Beast Kit, a limited-edition affordable grooming set. The kit is available on both brands’ websites for $29.99 and includes Dr. Squatch's Pine Tar soap and soap stand, Manscaped's signature The Plow razor, and a non-powder deodorant. It also comes with a complimentary set of four disposable shaving mats.[Image Credit: © Dr. Squatch]

"Manscaped, Inc. Partners With Dr. Squatch Soap Co., to Empower Men to "Tame Their Beast" Through a Limited Edition Grooming Kit", PRNewswire , June 12, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Times Square To Host COVERGIRL’s First-Ever Physical Store

June 11, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Following the recent relaunch of the COVERGIRL brand, beauty company Coty is scheduled to open the brand's first ever physical outlet, a flagship store in New York City. Coty signed a 10-year leasing deal for the 10,000-square foot multi-level space at 30 Times Square. Scheduled to open its doors later this year, the store will be launched as part of COVERGIRL's "I Am What I Make Up" brand message, which replaces its "Easy, breezy, beautiful" tagline. To keep up with the tech-savvy consumers, the store will have experiential beauty playrooms equipped with interactive digital technologies and full-service makeup application. Coty also hinted of an "exclusive innovation" that will be available in the store.[Image Credit: © Coty, Inc.]

""I Am What I Make Up" Comes to Life in New Experiential Space", Coty.com, June 11, 2018, © Coty, Inc.
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Cosmetics For Women Of Color Provider, Mented, Raises $3m

May 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Direct-to-consumer makeup brand Mented, which focuses products for women of color, raised $3 million in seed funding from CircleUp Growth Partners. Founded in 2017 by Harvard Business alumni KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson, Mented sells lipstick, lip gloss, eyeshadow, nail polish, and cosmetics accessories with neutral shades that fit the skin tones of women of color, broadly defined as black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian women. Mented plans to use the funding to expand its staff, diversify its products, and fund marketing strategies. The firm plans to have a product for every cosmetic category by the end of next year. The investor has a series of DTC investments, including Hum Nutrition, Kosås, and Pop & Bottle.[Image Credit: © Mented Cosmetics]
Claire McCormack, "Mented, A Makeup Brand By And For Women Of Color, Receives $3M From CircleUp Growth Partners", Beauty Independent, May 29, 2018, © Indie Beauty Media Group LLC
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Hims Provides DTC Solution For Men Suffering Hair Loss

May 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Direct-to-consumer wellness startup Hims provides a range of products aimed at American men worried about hair loss. Some 85 percent below the age of 50 experience thinning hair to some extent. The Complete Hair Kit costs $44.00 a month and comprises Finasteride pills, a shampoo, a bottle of Minoxidil, and 30 Biotin Gummies. The items can also be purchased separately. Buying the complete kit or Finasteride pills separately involves an additional $5 for an online medical examination with a licensed doctor. Finasteride is currently allowed in only 18 US states. Hims's products cost up to 80% less than the products sold at retail stores.[Image Credit: © HIMS]
Connie Chen, "A men's wellness startup is redefining how guys approach hair loss by making modern treatments affordable and accessible", Business Insider, May 29, 2018, © Business Insider Inc
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Successful DTC Requires Brands To Offer Solutions

May 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Selling direct to the consumer online remains a huge opportunity for brands, and one that is likely to transform the industry, but brands need to do more than just sell to consumers. Instead, they must offer solutions to their specific needs. Glossier, in the cosmetics category is a good example of how brands should rethink their consumer relationships. The brand is positioned strongly towards millennials, focusing on social media to build engagement by offering a sense of community and personalization, and by offering solutions. It has on offline store, in New York, geared to encourage visitors to share their experience online. The growth Glossier and other dynamic are generating demonstrates the potential impact of a better consumer focus.[Image Credit: © Glossier]
Mark Osborn, SAP, "‘To’ or ‘For’ Consumers? Shifting Perspectives for Driving Growth", Consumer Goods, May 29, 2018, © EnsembleIQ
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Beauty And Personal Care DTC Startups Attract Venture Investments

May 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A review of venture investments into direct-to-consumer (DTC) startups shows strong interest in businesses focused on beauty and personal care. Crunchbase estimates that Harry's, which offers male grooming products, has most funds raised of the startups it reviewed, at nearly $475 million. This compares to $164 million raised by Dollar Shave Club up to the point Unilever acquired it in 2016. Glossier, which launched in 2014 after the success of the beauty blog, Into The Gloss, has raised $86 million. Many of the companies seek to disrupt established businesses much the way Warby Parker changed eyewear. Launched In 2010, Warby Parker has raised a total of $290 million with the latest round of $75 million carrying a $1.75 billion valuation.[Image Credit: © Harry's, Inc]
"Mastering The Consumer: Top 15 D2C Startups By Funding", Wiredfocus Tech News, May 28, 2018, © wiredfocus.com
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Miller Harris To Offer Fragrance Samples Through Vending Machines

May 18, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Luxury perfume brand Miller Harris has partnered with sampling solutions provider Odore to provide consumers in London with fragrance samples through vending machines. Consumers will be able to get a free sample of their preferred scent from Miller Harris's range of perfumes by answering a short survey. The data collected will be used by Miller Harris to gain consumer insights which will help the brand improve its sales and marketing strategies. Odore's smart vending machines will be installed in several fine dining venues owned by M Restaurants group. The solutions provider plans to expand beyond the United Kingdom and to partner with other brands and venues. [Image Credit: © Miller Harris]

Austyn King , "Miller Harris partners with smart fragrance sampling solution Odore", Cosmetics Business, May 18, 2018, © HPCi Media
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Scentbird Raises $18.6m Funding for Market and Talent Expansion

May 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Subscription-based fragrance firm SCENTBIRD successfully concluded a financing round which raised $18.6 million, the biggest Series A funding received by a direct-to-consumer brand led by a female CEO. Consumer technology firm Goodwater Capital and other venture companies including Y Combinator, Rainfall Ventures, FundersClub, Soma Capital, Scrum Ventures, ERA led SCENTBIRD's latest funding round. The company will use the proceeds for market expansion, product development, and talent acquisition. The firm currently has over 250,000 subscriptions across the United States. They contribute 95% of its total revenue. In the past year, SCENTBIRD established its own personal care and home fragrance products, expanding the range of its sampling service, which already offers over 500 male, female and unisex fragrances.[Image Credit: © SCENTBIRD ]

"SCENTBIRD Makes Their Mark with a $18.6 MM Series A Funding Round", PRNewswire , May 17, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Glossier Is Expanding In Europe This Year

May 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

US direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand Glossier is set to expand internationally, with shipments to Ireland under way and plans for Sweden in June, and Denmark and France later in the year. The brand launched in the US four years ago and reached both Canada and the UK in 2017. It has been using social media, including Instagram, to create a community of followers, with some becoming brand ambassadors, some paid and some not. The brand seeks people in the new markets that are highly engaged, meets them, and treats them as influencers. The approach worked for the UK launch, and helped attract 10,000 people to its London pop-up in October last year. Estimates put the brand’s sales at around $50 million in 2017, and it has so far raised $86 million in financing. Although the brand expects expansion to bring unique challenges in the different markets, it has chosen not to adapt its products and strategy for each.[Image Credit: © Glossier]

Chantal Fernandez , "Inside Glossier’s International Expansion Strategy", The Business of Fashion, May 17, 2018, © The Business of Fashion
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Beauty Brands Are Failing to Reach Out To Casual Consumers

May 17, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Jamie Johns, the Director of Merchandising at Birchbox, the direct-to-consumer subscription beauty platform, believes many brands are missing opportunities to engage with the more casual beauty consumer, and are focusing too much on what she calls the beauty “junkies”. Johns, who will be speaking at the Innocos beauty networking event in Florence Italy in June, said most women are casual consumers who tend to focus on the purpose and effectiveness of the products they are buying. For these consumers, Johns believes existing strategies of massive launches and big influencer campaigns aren’t effective. Birchbox has been able to reach them through sampling. Johns admires certain direct-to-consumer brands, such as Glossier and Kylie, that are forcing the rest of the industry to rethink how it engages with consumers.

Lucy Whitehouse , "Birchbox on ‘Beauty Buff’ or ‘Beauty Casual’: Are you talking to the right consumer?", Cosmetics Design Europe, May 17, 2018, © William Reed Business Media Ltd
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Skincare In 2018: A Focus On Natural and DIY Beauty

May 9, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
A number of consumer trends are driving innovation in beauty, including demand for natural products, as well as personalization and customization. Brands and retailers are offering consumers the opportunity to mix their own products, and with a more natural ingredient list. Follain, an online beauty retailer, offers a personalized skincare regimen. Beauty brand LOLI Beauty focuses on ingredient transparency and education. Ktchn Apothecary, a skincare brand, Oleum Vera and Brandless all sell DIY beauty kits that allow consumers to mix ingredients to create their own products at home.[Image Credit: © Follain Launch, Inc] 
"How Brands Are Delivering DIY Beauty", PSFK, May 09, 2018, © PSFK LLC
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Billie Unveils New Campaign To Help Customers See "Magic In The Mundane"

May 8, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
US-based direct-to-consumer female personal care brand Billie launched its "Magic in the Mundane" campaign, inspired by a user comment on the firm's Instagram page. The brand offers a subscription service for razors, shaving cream and lotion, as well as other body care products for women. Co-founder Georgina Gooley said the new campaign aims to celebrate women and their everyday routines and follows its #RethinkPink message, which tackles the issue of a pink tax on women's products, during the brand launch in November. Billie recently completed a $6 million seed funding round which will help it expand its team and boost its inventory.[Image Credit: © Billie Inc.]
Shirley Brady , "Making Mundane Magic: 5 Questions With Billie Co-Founder Georgina Gooley", Brandchannel, May 08, 2018, © Interbrand
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Study Concludes Brands Should Use Original Digital Video To Connect With Millennials

May 7, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

According to a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau report, brands should use original digital video (ODV) to engage with the more diverse and technology-aware younger consumers. The report also says that ODV viewers report higher levels of brand engagement and have a stronger affinity and awareness off some of the new direct-to-consumer brands, like Birchbox and Bonobos. Almost half of ODV viewers are “Brand Seekers”, who are more receptive to new brands and see the benefit in ads.

Bulldog Reporter, "Original digital video connects brands with young, diverse, techie consumers", Agility PR Solutions, May 07, 2018, © Agility PR Solutions LLC
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Toothpaste Inventor Comes Back After 100 Years In AR App

May 3, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Dr. Sheffield’s Naturals brand its launching its first direct-to-consumer brand in modern times. The launch of Dr. Sheffield's Naturals Toothpaste, from Sheffield Pharmaceuticals, includes the Sheffield AR app, which allows users to see company founder, Dr. Washington W. Sheffield, via augmented reality when they are stood next to the packaging on store shelves in chains including CVS and Bed Bath & Beyond. The range is free of sweeteners, flavors, artificial colors, foaming agents and flouride. The brand claims that Sheffield was the first to sell a crème dentifrice instead of tooth powder.[Image Credit: © Sheffield Pharmaceuticals]
"Technology That Brings to Life a 168-Year-Old Legend? There's an App for That", PRNewswire, May 03, 2018, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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Viking Global Snaps Up Major Stake In Birchbox

May 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Direct-to-consumer subscription beauty business, Birchbox is heavily in debt and has been seeking a buyer since last summer. After talks with QVC failed to reach an agreement, Birchbox has sold the majority of its shares to Viking Global, a hedge fund investor that has committed $15 million investment. Other venture capital investors, including Accel Partners and First Round Capital, agreed the deal but will likely exit empty-handed. Birchbox CEO and co-founder Katia Beauchamp will keep her position post-acquisition. Birchbox assured that there will be no layoffs associated with the deal. With over 2.5 million customers across six countries, Birchbox has been a forerunner in subscription commerce since its founding in 2010. [Image Credit: © Birchbox]

Jason Del Rey, "Birchbox has sold majority ownership to one of its hedge fund investors after sale talks with QVC fell through", Recode, May 01, 2018, © Vox Media, Inc.
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Dollar Shave Club Gears Up For Further Expansion

May 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Direct-to-Consumer e-commerce male grooming brand Dollar Shave Club (DSC) has announced a number of hires to the digital team aimed at continuing its growth momentum. Alan Wizemann becomes Chief Digital Officer. He previously worked at Target, Lululemon and WebMD. Danny Miles, the company’s first Chief Technology Officer, joined in 2017. Gloria Synn is the new Vice President of Member Strategy and David Kujda becomes Vice President of Product Design. The company says its headcount has expanded by over 25% during the past 12 months and it has relocated to larger office space in Marina del Rey, CA.[Image Credit: © DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB]

Annlee Ellingson , "Dollar Shave Club grows C-suite with first chief digital, tech hires", Bizjournals.com, May 01, 2018, © American City Business Journals
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Cosmetic Giants Turn To AR Tech To Lure Customers

May 1, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Some of the biggest names in the cosmetic industry are seeing the value of augmented reality (AR) to boost customer reach and improve sales. MAC Cosmetics used AR to develop a mirror to show customers how they would look with makeup. According to the firm, this will help avoid "buyer's remorse" when shopping for makeup. Benefit Cosmetics launched a mobile app called Brow Try-On, which helps customers visualize their face with different eyebrow shapes and sizes. The app also has a tutorial that features Benefit products.

Romany Reagan, "Why AR Access Is Important for Retailers", Exchange Wire, May 01, 2018, © RETAILTECHNEWS
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LG’s Household & Health Care Arm Acquires Avon Japan

April 30, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Ginza Stefany, a Japanese subsidiary of LG’s Household & Health Care (LG H&H) business, has agreed to acquire Avon’s Japanese operation, Avon Japan for 10.5 billion yen (approximately US$96 million). Direct-seller Avon Japan was established 50 years ago and is ranked 21st in the country in terms of retail sales. LG H&H, which has built its Japanese operation with two local acquisitions, Ginza Stefany Cosmetics in 2012 and Everlife in 2013, has been developing its business presence in Japan, which Euromonitor International estimates is the third largest beauty and personal care market in the world, with 2017 sales of US$ 36.1 billion.[Image Credit: © Stefany]
Natasha Spencer , "LG H&H acquires Avon Japan", Cosmetics Design Asia, April 30, 2018, © William Reed Business Media
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Over 40 Firms Form UK Plastics Pact, Promising To Cut Single-Use Plastic Packaging

April 26, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Over 40 firms, responsible for over 80% of plastic packaging on products sold in the United Kingdom, have joined the government and several trade organizations in establishing the UK Plastics Pact, led by sustainability group WRAP. The agreement lays out a set of pledges undertaken by firms to reduce plastic pollution over the next seven years. It promises to eliminate single-use plastic packaging, including 2025 goals to make 100% of packaging recyclable or compostable, to recycle or compost 70%, and to use 30% recycled material in plastic packaging. The pact signatories include Coca-Cola, Asda, Procter & Gamble, and Marks & Spencer. Environmental groups including Friends of the Earth and Ellen MacArthur Foundation expressed their support. [Image Credit: © The Waste and Resources Action Programme]

David Shukman, "Companies sign up to pledge to cut plastic pollution", BBC, April 26, 2018, © BBC
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Hello Products Toothpaste Makes Progress With Natural Formulation, Minimalist Packaging

March 29, 2018: 12:00 AM EST

Oral care in the U.S. is dominated by three well established brands, Colgate, Crest and Sensodyne, but some smaller brands are getting traction. Hello Products has a natural formation without triclosan, an FDA-banned antibacterial chemical, or saccharin. Both of its non-fluoride and fluoride versions are also be without glutens, parabens, microbeads, artificial flavors, and dyes. Packaging is simple and striking. The adult toothpaste has a minimalist black tube with white lettering. The company claims to be the #2 natural toothpaste product and this year expects sales of $20 million.[Image Credit: © Hello Products]
Amy Feldman, "Taking On The Toothpaste Giants: How One Entrepreneur Built A Fresh $20 Million Brand", Forbes, March 29, 2018, © Forbes Media LLC
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Henkel Seeks To Leverage Big Data To Identify Efficient Opportunities, Sets Ambition Goal

March 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
Henkel seeks to leverage big data to reach ambitious efficiency goals. By 2030 it aims to triple its efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint globally by 75 percent. Critical to its efforts is an Environmental Management System (EMS) that it implemented in 2014 in collaboration with Schneider Electric. The EMS captures over 3,000 data points across a wide range of the company’s global production network, including metrics on consumption of electricity, fossil fuels, compressed air and water. Through capturing data centrally the company is able to identify best practice. The company estimates its Laundry & Home Care unit could reduce energy use by 24 percent.[Image Credit: © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA]
"Reducing the environ­mental foot­print through Big Data", Henkel, March 28, 2018, © Henkel AG & Co. KGaA
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Misleading Sensodyne And Alpecin Ads Banned – U.K. Watchdog

March 28, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned Sensodyne True White toothpaste and Alpecin Caffeine C1 adverts, following a review revealing that the claims made were misleading. Colgate Palmolive initially lodged a complaint against Sensodyne, prompting producer GlaxoSmithKline to present supporting studies. The ASA found no evidence to support the claim that Sensodyne True White was more whitening than standard toothpaste that did not make a whitening claim. Similarly, evidence provided to support Alpecin’s claim as a hair loss-reducing shampoo, by manufacturers Dr. Kurt Wolff., was rejected. [Image Credit: © GSK group of companies or its licensor]
Sean Poulter , "Misleading adverts for ‘whitening’ toothpaste and a shampoo which boasted of beating hair loss have been banned", Mail Online, March 28, 2018, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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L’Oréal skincare device wins patent case in shorter trials procedure pilot

March 27, 2018: 12:00 AM EST
The Patents Office has ruled that the L’Oréal patent and one of its community registered designs were infringed by RN Ventures’ “Magnitone” electronic brush for deep cleansing of face pores. Another L’Oreal company, the exclusive licensee of L’Oreal’s rights in the UK, was the second claimant in the case. The case used the shorter trials procedure pilot scheme introduced to the High Court in October 2015 and will be available until September 2018.  The case is of interest because it used the shorter trials procedure in considering one patent and two registered designs involving significant cross-examination with regard to expert evidence. The shorter trials procedure is intended for commercial and business cases not requiring extensive disclosure, witness or expert evidence. It aims to reduce costs and shorten trials to three to four days.[Image Credit: © Magnitone]
Burges Salmon LLP, "L’Oréal wins skincare device case using shorter trials procedure pilot scheme.", Lexology United Kingdom , March 27, 2018, © Globe Business Media Group
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