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Brief Published: 27 Jul 2012

Target Trials Beauty Concierge Service


Personal service and mass-market shopping tend not to go hand-in-hand, but all that could be changing. US discount retailer Target is pushing the boundaries of the traditional mass-market beauty experience by introducing a multi-brand beauty concierge service.

Target has begun trialling the programme across 28 of its US superstores. Beauty concierge advisors are dressed in black uniforms, rather than the red-and-white uniforms worn by all other Target employees. They are supplied with iPads to help them dispense skincare and make-up samples, tips and advice.

The service is currently a nine-month test. However, it could be rolled out to more than 400 stores across the US. A Target spokesperson said the strategy would help the retailer “analyse the sweet spot from where we should expand nationally”.

Target has previously incorporated personal service into its beauty department: it outfitted 300 Boots displays with advisers to tout the brand. Staff were assigned to promote a single brand. The 14-strong beauty concierge team, however, is trained in key products across all beauty ranges and briefed to offer “detailed, unbiased information”.

Target is the latest big box retailer to roll out downsized store concepts and a concierge-style service. Wholefoods and Walmart are in the process of launching similar initiatives. Look out for our upcoming report Big Box Goes Small Format in August for a more in-depth look at how big box retailers are rethinking their strategies.