Target sees big potential for men’s beauty in stores, so it’s changing its approach to the category.
Over the past few months, the Minnesota-based retailer began revamping its grooming destinations in stores by cross-category merchandising men’s beauty products with Goodfellow & Co., the brand’s private label men’s line, which debuted in August 2017. For instance, in the men’s beauty aisle, Goodfellow & Co. accessories like hats, wallets and dopp kits can be found, as well as signage featuring the clothes.
Goodfellow & Co. was one of a series of new in-house brands Target began launching last year, including its women’s collection A New Day and home line Project 62. At the time, Target said it expected to drop 12 new brands over the course of two years.
Selling men’s beauty products alongside men’s fashion is part of a larger strategy for Target to grow its men’s beauty and personal-care business. It’s also investing in younger and more modern grooming brands in its retail assortment, and it continues to find success in its men’s specific Beauty Box.
Since 2016, the company has continued to see its share in the grooming market grow, and it expects business to double by 2020 in the category, according to a Target spokesperson. In 2017, the men’s beauty and personal-care market was valued at $8.7 billion, according to Euromonitor International, signaling a huge opportunity to double down in this business.
This men’s grooming-meets-fashion in-store retail experience started in 11 target markets, including four in Texas and two in Minnesota. The concept will be rolled out to 80 additional stores by the end of the year. More than 600 products will be featured in the new men’s experience, and will range in price from $1.49 to $199.99.
This is in line with Target’s overall approach to the beauty business, said Bob Hoyler, senior research analyst at Euromonitor International.
“One of the strategies Target is currently employing is to support the company’s ambitious store modernization plan, which has seen the company adopt a formal goal of remodeling 1,000 of its brick-and-mortar outlets by 2020. One of the key tenets of the store modernization plan is the embrace of what the company refers to as ‘presentation enhancement’ for key product categories, with beauty foremost among them,” he said.
The in-store enhancements are designed to boost beauty sales, by drawing the attention of browsing shoppers who may be in Target for other needs.
Increasing interest in the men’s grooming assortment is also top of mind for Target, which will be showcasing brands like Rebel’s Refinery, a natural skin-care line with masculine packaging, and Cremo, a shaving and hair-care line featuring beard oil and shave brushes, in these 80 stores. This follows a similar playbook that Target employed with brands like Bevel and Harry’s.
“Target is leveraging the growth of men’s grooming in the U.S. by carrying on-trend brands,” said Kayla Villena, senior research analyst at Euromonitor International. She pointed to Bevel, which is a line directed to men of color and was once a direct-to-consumer business but is now carried at more than 450 Target stores, as well as on Amazon. Harry’s is also a savvy addition to the new Target men’s retail experience. For its part, “it resulted in a revamp of the category as a whole, as — according to the company — it brought consumers back to the men’s grooming aisles,” said Villena.
Target’s men’s beauty box business, which was introduced in June 2015 and is a one-time purchase online, also continues to be a focus, though business for subscription boxes overall is dwindling. The last custom men’s box debuted in June 2018, featuring products from Dove, Method Man and Old Spice — though men’s boxes aren’t offered every month. Since 2015, Target has introduced eight grooming boxes. All Target Beauty Boxes are only available online, and customers are notified by email when a new box arrives.
While Target continues to focus on basic personal-care needs with its men’s beauty boxes — sticking to products like shampoo, conditioner and body wash, as evidenced with its June 2018 product — there is certainly opportunity to elevate the assortment, like it’s doing in-store. BirchboxMan, which has had 100 percent year-over-year growth since launching its $10 subscription box last year (Target’s is $5), has seen buzz in entirely new categories, like serums, exfoliators and eye creams, according to the company. Harry’s, which is also carried by Target, has been one of BirchboxMan’s top-selling brands this year.
For Target, 50 percent of its male customers “enjoy browsing and taking their time” when shopping the grooming and personal-care categories, so its existing men’s boxes are a way to encourage discovery and product trial.