Cosmetics Sector Displays POP Style

By Gannaway, Belinda | Marketing, May 24, 2001 | Go to article overview

Cosmetics Sector Displays POP Style


Gannaway, Belinda, Marketing


Belinda Gannaway explores the ways cosmetic companies promote glamour in-store

How do you package, display, and sell a dream? Answer: with imagination, bags of money, and lots of gleaming glass and stainless steel. Actually, it's not that easy.

Ready-to-dispense testers, product-melting lights and thousands of thumb-size products all provide their own particular problems.

But out of necessity comes invention and the cosmetics sector is becoming the undisputed leader in innovative, stylish and successful point-of-purchase (POP) material. Whether it's in permanent self-selection and beauty counter fixtures or temporary promotional displays, where cosmetics goes, others follow.

Cosmetics companies understand better than most the extent to which brand credibility relies on the quality of POP execution. The rules apply equally around the world.

"Many cosmetics names are well-established, worldwide brands able to look at desirability initiatives and launches in a more strategic way than a one-nation brand. Long-standing relationships with retailers also make them more proficient at negotiating retail terms," says Mark Ransom, sales director of Antone Retail Interiors.

Companies seeking to maximise return on investment and portray a global image are making ever more use of cross-boundary POP.

Kessler International, for example, recently put Christian Dior's merchandising system into 10,000 outlets worldwide.

"Christian Dior communicates its brand across international boundaries without language," says managing director Charles Kessler. "Everything the brand wants to say is in the display itself and that's consistent around the world."

Clarins similarly makes use of a worldwide presentation, taking a consistent brand image adapted to suit local needs.

Solving problems

Cosmetics houses' long-standing commitment to POP has given them time to address issues such as lighting of fragile products (low-heat, noglare illumination), discreet storage and security of high-value 'stealable' items. They also have displays that can maintain their pristine appeal.

But while glamour is key, functionality is sacrosanct. Nothing ruins a beauty proposition more than muck. Those elements have been fundamental to the design of Givenchy's merchandising system.

"There is a general trend in cosmetics away from counters to self-selection as consumers become more confident and experimental," says Givenchy cosmetics product manager Ellenore Sambrook. "Our new silver open-serve system is sleek and modern, but also flexible and practical."

Boots No 7 recently underwent a merchandising relaunch. "Our research showed consumers wanted better access to the product, more easily available testers and more information on products and the benefits of various ranges," says supply and operations manager Sharon Woodman-Clarke.

"We changed the materials we use, as it was critical for us to make the counter as flexible as possible to cater for updates and promotional activity without involving too much cost. Since the relaunch, we've seen a vast improvement in sales."

Self-selection brands update parts of their fixtures regularly. Innovation is critical, as most purchases are impulse decisions and brands are in a crowded market. Every element of the store presence needs to work hard, something Helena Rubinstein has done by introducing gel-covered neon lights to create colour changes that reflect seasonal ranges and new products.

Trade marketing manager Angela Corder says the impact has been considerable. "Using just visuals and products on a counter makes it hard to create a change in mood," she says. "Lighting lets you do that immediately and create a lot of impact. I really think more brands will switch on to that."

For IDA Creative Link account director Simon Rowe, the true creativity is in attention to detail in materials and graphics. …

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