Imagine being the “President of Beauty.” Kathleen McNeill has that coveted title as the President and General Manager at Beauty.com/ Drugstore.com. With that, comes the huge responsibility of an on-line business which allows consumers the flexibility to shop simultaneously for masstige and prestige beauty products – all at the click of a button. Kathleen obviously lives and breathes beauty, and is committed to always looking for new brands that will compliment her wide assortments ranging from beauty basics to Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion in a Jar. We asked her to take a minute out of her busy schedule to share with Cosmoprof North America what inspires her and what she sees as the next big thing in beauty.
What is the latest trend, or product, that you see out in the market for consumers this spring?
The new Origins Plantscription is a launch I’m very excited about. With over 5 years in development, this product may just be the answer for women seeking a natural and effective anti-aging regimen. Their star ingredient claims it has a similar effect on skin renewal without the sensitive skin side effects that other retinol-rich products can cause. We also see a lot of attention being paid to nails, because they’re an affordable fashion accessory and a fast way to add a little extra color or glamour. I love Deborah Lippmann’s glitter polishes like Happy Birthday and Across the Universe and some of the edgier hues from Butter Londonl like All Hail the Queen and Yummy Mummy.
Being that you were a Discover Beauty retailer at Cosmoprof North America, what advice would you give, in general, to the companies exhibiting and meeting with the retail buyers? Clearly know and define your DNA and stick to it. Know who you are as a brand – what you stand for and what you don’t. Lay out your press and marketing plans for at least the current season along with your ongoing initiatives. Know what kind of retailers you are looking to partner with and invest in samples and develop exposure for sampling programs. It’s the best way to get your products into customer’s hands.
Was there a certain category you saw throughout the show which caught your attention and could potentially turn into the next big thing at Beauty.com/Drugstore.com?
We are seeing a renewed focus on natural products, with many brands working to offer natural options within their traditional assortment. We are also seeing some great innovations in hair care with a focus on hair treatments and styling products for specific hair types.
What are you looking for when you go to a large beauty trade show such as Cosmoprof North America?
We are looking for innovation – something that excites us. A prospective brand must have some originality whether it’s a great new ingredient, innovative technology, or unique delivery system. We are on the hunt for items that fill a gap in our assortment. We try to put ourselves in the mindset of the customer, so we’re on the watch for the gut feeling that says: “Wow! I want to purchase that!”
What fun innovative retail concepts/stores are you obsessed with lately?
It’s not new, but I love Etsy. It’s such a unique approach to the marketplace where you can see all these mini-innovations and trends developing. It’s a strong example of a personal, highly individualized shopping experience online, which is very inspiring as a pure-play retailer.