Tumbleweeds Are Swirling Around Department Store Cosmetics Departments -- Here Is Why

Cosmetics sections at upscale department stores like Lord & Taylor (HBC)  and Macy's (M) are struggling to woo customers, according to a new report.

Why?

TheStreet came up with some reasons why we would much rather shop online or at open-sell shops like Sephora (LVMUY) or Ulta Beauty Inc. (ULTA) than hit the cosmetics counter at department stores.

Makeup artists.
Makeup artists.

No matter what look you're going for, there's a YouTube (owned by Alphabet  (GOOGL) ) tutorial with linked products that you can watch instead of trekking to the mall. So why go to the cosmetics counter to get your makeup done?

In the words of one millennial makeup wearer we talked with: "Fake smile at sales people for an hour? I hate that."

Pushy salespeople.
Pushy salespeople.

A trip to the makeup counter almost always involves an overly enthusiastic salesperson goading you into buying something wretched. We know they've got to make a sale, but we really don't think we'll wear that cobalt blue eyeshadow. We would much rather go to Sephora or Ulta where we can shop on our own and ask a professional only when help is needed.

And why trust a pushy salesperson when we can read honest online reviews?

Too much perfume.
Too much perfume.

Can anyone breathe in the perfume section, or make it out without being spritzed by at least three competing eau de mothball scents? No one can find a signature scent when they're being showered in every Chanel, Dior and Jo Malone on offer at the same time.

Gifts with purchase are now everywhere.
Gifts with purchase are now everywhere.

We used to wait until Bobbi Brown was running a gift with purchase at the department store counter. But then we realized the same offers are available online or through Sephora and Ulta rewards memberships. 

Online shopping is way easier.
Online shopping is way easier.

Driving to the mall, parking and walking through the cosmetics section takes time, especially if you just need a new tube of mascara. Ordering it online takes a few clicks and you can do it on the subway, during your lunch break or at home.

"It's much quicker to order online. It comes right to you and you don't have to take time out of your day," said one 22-year-old make-up enthusiast TheStreet talked with.

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