CVS has plans to sell an assortment of Korean beauty products in 2,100 of its stores next month. The collection will be handpicked by Peach & Lily founder Alicia Yoon, who has played a large role in bringing K-Beauty trends and products to the US. Beauty items originating from South Korea produce $225 million in sales in the US despite many Americans having no brick-and-mortar exposure to them. This marks a huge opportunity for CVS as it can capture a large portion of the market by simply making it a accessible as other mainstream products.
This also marks a shift in the beauty market. Consumers now expect more variety from their drugstore beauty products, and in some cases prefer the low price, fast turnaround, and accessibility of these products over prestige brands. As nimble SEM and SEO strategies have translated into higher visibility, fast cosmetic brands have gone as far as opening up their own retail stores to further cement their brands in consumer minds. This L2 graph shows several mass or “masstige” brands (MakeUp Geek, Milani, E.L.F) that have gained outsized visibility in search and in some cases YouTube vlogger mentions.
For mass brands without vertical retail, Ulta allows for a venue to sell alongside prestige brands. The retailer is blurring the lines of mass and prestige, with Bare Minerals (prestige) and NYX Cosmetics (mass) being the two top sellers.