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Macy's Answers Target's Ulta and Kohl's Sephora Beauty Moves

The struggling chain has turned to a major influencer to answer its rivals big moves.

Looming recession predictions may have retailers expanding their retail space to build up recession-proof departments. Even in recession times, beauty products have always prevailed. The top line products may feel a sting, but an all-over price point beauty department is sure to still turn products over in inventory.

Beauty inventory turns over due to product life cycles and customers wanting to try new products. The life cycles of beauty products can be anywhere from a couple of months to just a couple of years. Having an array of products that vary in life cycles can bolster retail sales receipts. 

While Kohl's and Target have been boosting their beauty lines through partnerships, J.C. Penney launched its own beauty line. In years past beauty products were either drugstore brands or high-end sold only at select retailers. Beauty lines are finding their way to be available to the masses and at more price points.

The intimidation of a first-time shopper at a department store's beauty section is the same intimidation felt by shoppers going into a beauty store for the first time. Retailers are working to break the boundary down between beauty lines and consumers by making the shopping experience more open to all.

Kohl's JCPenney Lead JS

JCPenney Expanding its In-House Beauty Line

JCPenney  (JCP) - Get Free Report had been partnered with Sephora up until recently when the partnership ended. Now filling the retailer’s beauty floor space is its own beauty line, JCPenney Beauty, which is rolling out nationwide. JCPenney Beauty is expanding past 10 retail locations to 300 into 2023, followed by another 600 locations later in 2023.

JCPenney Beauty will focus on accessibility and affordability for all. The beauty lines will have a wide variety of price points, available online and rolling out to retail storefronts through 2023. 

Kohl’s  (KSS) - Get Free Report doubled down on beauty by adding more retail square footage dedicated to its new partner in beauty, Sephora. Sephora, a Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton brand  (LVMHF)  that previously partnered with JCPenney, ended the partnership and found a new home quickly. Kohl's will be adding Sephora to 400 store locations in 2022. 

Kohl’s has had a tumultuous year, with ending talks of a buyout in the second quarter and since making major changes throughout its store. One of the major changes was building space for expanding its beauty department. Sadly, for frequent Kohl's shoppers, Kohl's cash cannot be used to purchase Sephora products and Sephora purchases do not add up to qualify for Kohl's cash.

Target suffered over the summer with excess inventory. The inventory that was not selling was costing the retailer dearly. Even through it had struggles, it built a bigger partnership to build its beauty department. 

Like Kohl's, Target  (TGT) - Get Free Report also expanded its beauty department. Target has partnered with Ulta Beauty  (ULTA) - Get Free Report, and it is committing more retail floor space to the beauty partner. Ulta sees the partnership as offering Target customers an appetizer of the full ULTA shopping experience. Target's Ulta beauty section will have specialized staff to fully assist customers with their beauty questions and needs. 

Macy's Meets the Challenge

Macy's has decided to adopt a more mainstream take on beauty. Macy's has had an existing beauty line throughout its cosmetics lineage, and it is adding to its portfolio. Macy's  (M) - Get Free Report is expanding its existing beauty department by partnering with beauty line Kylie Cosmetics.

Kylie Cosmetics launched in 2015 with Kylie Lip Kits and has since expanded its cosmetics line. Kylie Cosmetics' main beauty products are a matte lipstick, a liquid lipstick, high gloss, and lip shine lacquer.

Kylie Cosmetics is a subsidiary of Coty Inc.  (COTY) - Get Free Report a French American beauty brand conglomerate. Kylie Cosmetics will be available at Macy's Oct. 1 through the spring of 2023. The beauty line previously owned and promoted by Kylie Jenner brings a certain attention to the retailer that it may not have had before with its other existing beauty lines. The cruelty and gluten-free and vegan beauty lines will offer holiday special giftbox sets.