Experiential Retail: How industry leading cosmetics brands are moving ahead

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

NYX Professional Makeup opens first retail store in Northern California (image via NYX)
NYX Professional Makeup opens first retail store in Northern California (image via NYX)

Related tags Nyx professional makeup Retailing

L’Oréal’s color cosmetics brand NYX Professional Makeup just opened a digitally enhanced flagship store in California’s Silicon Valley. It’s the start of a new retail strategy for NYX and part of an industry wide movement.

The new NYX store at the Westfield Valley Fair shopping center in Santa Clara, opened its doors last Friday, promising to be uniquely engaging and digitally advanced.

“NYX retail stores are a one-of-a-kind addition to the beauty retail world. Fully loaded with unique digital features, the stores bring the passion and innovation of the online beauty world into a bricks and mortar retail environment,” ​say the company in a media release about the Santa Clara shop. And there are plans for more US locations to open this year.

Digital real estate

NYX, a makeup brand that was born digital, has a few ideas about how to makeover mall retail. The stores opening this year will offer video tutorials, digital Instafeed walls to post selfies, and numerous ways for consumers to experiment with products, learn from peers and pros, and discover what’s next.

Another West Coast location is slated to open this year at the Broadway Plaza, in Walnut Creek, California. And an East Coast opening has been announced as well:

NYX is coming to the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, New Jersey.

Sign of the times

Cosmetic Design forecast that “experiential retail [would] take over in the New Year,”​ in a late 2015 CD Buzz video segment​. 

The experiential trend merges digital and conventional sales and marketing strategies to compel “shoppers to touch and feel a brand’s product both online and in stores with doors…not only [ensuring] that every touch point is a possible point of sale but that every touch point is a destination the shopper’s journey wouldn’t be complete without,” ​according to Cosmetics Design.

Next-generation retail

Last summer the online natural beauty retailer Credo opened a flagship location in San Francisco, California, the brand’s first brick-and-mortar store and a sign of things to come. "The flurry of online retailers entering the physical world signifies yet another paradigm shift in beauty retailing,"observed Karen Doskow, director of Kline's consumer products practice,​ when that group’s Beauty Retailing USA: Channel Analysis and Opportunities report was released.

And successful brick-and-mortar shops are bringing digital in store, like Sephora​ did late last year with its new inspire-teach-play concept. “With over 2,000 locations globally, Sephora has reconceived how smart technology, hands-on teaching and consumer beauty come together to create an innovative, intuitive and personalized store experience,” ​according to the influential CEW organization.  

This new NYX Professional Makeup store is the beauty and personal care industry’s the latest step into the future of retail. “NYX Professional Makeup has a global online community made up of millions of beauty fans who look to beauty artists and influencers on multiple digital platforms for personal inspiration,” ​according to the media release, and “the new line of stores was created for these consumers.”

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