Following Macy’s purchase of beauty retailer Bluemercury in February, many wondered on what path the giant department store would send the small, little known beauty retailer. And that path, according to Bluemercury founder Barry Beck, is a path of ‘exceptionalism.’
While Sephora and Ulta are taking the lion’s share of the beauty market in the US, Beck sees a different route for Bluemercury under Macy’s ownership. The new collaboration will see Bluemercury stores open within Macy’s, with a potential for 300 Bluemercury stores nationwide and shops within 800 Macy’s stores.
Beck said, “We have a unique and exceptional business model that competitors have been unable to replicate. Everything that we do is focused on being the friendly, neighborhood store where you can get expert honest advice.
“We see retail as personal and emotional and pick products and brands that strike a chord with our customers. We don’t focus on competitors, we focus on our customers.”
Speaking at the 30th annual Retailing Summit organized by the Texas A&M Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School, Beck said that there were key innovations that allowed the company to grow to nearly 70 locations in 16 years, with an annual revenue of around $100 million. These include the ‘real life beauty junkies’ people that work for the company, the product – with newness being a key driver – and the places where the products are sold.
Beck said, “As the fastest growing luxury products retail chain, we are pioneers and innovators. We have a very strong culture of avant-garde experimentation and trailblazing. We don’t listen to how everyone else does things. We want to do them in our own way for our own clients.
“I believe that ultimately over time you’re going to have to have retail stores. Because with the continued innovation of the Internet, clients are going to demand more service, more information and more ways to shop.”