Sportsgirl looks to make beauty big business
Last week, women’s fashion retailer Sportsgirl unveiled an Instagram-worthy activation in its Bourke Street store in Melbourne to coincide with the launch of its latest beauty offering, developed in collaboration with fashion photographer and graphic artist, Kelly Maker.
The Kelly Maker X Sportsgirl Beauty range includes seven new products and is an indication, a Sportsgirl spokesperson said in a statement, of the retailer’s plans to make beauty “big business”.
The retailer relaunched its beauty offering last October to capitalise on what it said was its fastest growing product category. It has invested in product quality, range and footprint – both online and in-store – to make Sportsgirl a beauty destination in its own right.
“The Sportsgirl brand is about understanding our girls’ way of life, and we know that beauty is a huge part of it,” Sportsgirl CEO Colleen Callander said at the time of the relaunch.
Part of a growing trend
Sportsgirl is not the only apparel brand to launch or expand a beauty offering in recent months. Fast fashion companies like H&M and
Boohoo have also rolled out makeup lines, as consumer demand for beauty products continues to grow.
In a recent blog post, Euromonitor global beauty lead Irina Barbalova wrote that the beauty industry “defied the odds yet again in 2017 by recording close to 5 per cent value growth, a slight improvement on the previous year”.
Locally, IBISWorld research has predicted the industry will reach $4.2 billion in revenue in Australia by 2019. According to some, the current makeup boom is being driven by selfie culture. Theoretically, people want to look their best as they document ever more aspects of daily life. Research suggests that innovative new products and brands are also key contributing factors.
“Benefitting from further social media appeal, desire for selfexpression and technologically-enabled makeover experiences, colour cosmetics outperformed all other categories globally (up by 7 per cent, the highest on record over the past decade),” Barbalova wrote.
Indeed, incumbent players like French cosmetics giant Sephora and Australian-born retailer Mecca are investing in new technology to improve the makeup buying experience and drive sales.
Sephora, which recently announced its 16th store in Australia since entering the market in 2015, introduced a virtual try-on tool in its Robina Town Centre store in Queensland in May, while Mecca on Monday launched an online foundation matching tool to help customer choose from its range of more than 100 foundation products.
The “lipstick effect”
Legend has it that Estee Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder noticed that cosmetics sales were strangely resilient during the Great
Depression and coined the term the “lipstick effect” to explain the phenomenon.
In hard times, he suggested, consumers look for affordable luxuries, and for many, makeup is the ideal mini-splurge. Economists have been fascinated with proving – or disproving – the “lipstick effect” ever since, but you don’t have to be an economist to notice that beauty is having a bit of a moment right now.
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