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Love It or Hate It? Target's Beauty Aisle Goes Upscale

Love It or Hate It? Target's Beauty Aisle Goes Upscale

If you've been to Target lately, you may have noticed some fancy brands in the cosmetics aisle. Kiehl's, Origins, Bumble and Bumble, and Clarins are some of the prestigious department-store brands that are popping up on shelves.

The only problem: The retailer hasn't exactly gone about things through traditional channels. Target isn't buying products from the companies themselves — it's more of a gray-market thing, and the beauty brands are not happy.

I've talked with friends who love the idea of being able to buy their favorite shampoo at Target, but others complain that the prestige factor goes away. From a business angle, I think it makes sense for Target's image, but I can understand why these beauty brands are fuming. (I'm sure Clarins just loves having its creams sold a few feet away from suppositories and Drano.) What do you think? Are you into the idea, or is it a flop?


Join The Conversation
yelrihs yelrihs 9 years
Target should have consulted with the brands before bringing the products in - the brands might have happily agreed and even helped Target with their lines.
misslix misslix 9 years
i agree with scissorz. it's not like target associates can answer questions about/guarantee the product when i buy it.
zoinks zoinks 9 years
I have no problem with Target selling high end products AS LONG AS they go through the right channels. If they cannot go directly tp the manufacturer then they shouldn't sell the products. I know that they didn't hav ea deal with finnese for a while, but the brand eventually returned to the store.
lheitzman12 lheitzman12 9 years
What I find interesting is that stores like Target and CVS generally sell the "gray market" diverted hair & skin care products for MORE than what you would pay for them in the salon or department store. I guess they figure that if customers see it in the drug store, that they automatically assume it is cheaper and think that they are getting a deal. Sometimes they are selling it for as much as 3 bucks more(and it could be 1/2 dish soap.. since the product is 3rd party diversion and not bought from the actual company, you have no idea what's in there). Ever think about what insurance companies or salon owners do with all the product that got damaged in Katrina, floating around in nasty flood water for 2 weeks? You think that stuff got thrown out or maybe it's on the shelf at your local discount store- sewage and all!
coachluvr33 coachluvr33 9 years
I agree with whomever said that about going to a salon to buy items like these. I don't like it. I don't have time to make special trips to purchase stuff like this, but I am at Target at least once a week so to be able to just pick up awesome stuff like this is wonderful. I work, I have a child and a husband and I don't have lots of self-indulgent time to run here, there, and yonder buying hard to find stuff.
coachluvr33 coachluvr33 9 years
I LOVE it!! For me to get these items, I would need to drive over an hour to Pittsburgh. 5 minutes to Target sounds amazing. It isn't as if Target is some bargain bin either. I think they have really cute stuff there. The designers they have working with them are amazing!! I think Target is great.
msdyanelk msdyanelk 9 years
One factor that I find confusing about product placement is NOT placing the product where the TARGET consumer has access to it to purchase it. Case in point: There is a Target Greatland(compare to a super/mega store i.e. groceries, pharamcy, Pizza Hut, etc.---all under one roof)located here in the San Francisco Bay Area which has carried Iman Cosmetics for at least 1-1/2 years, maybe longer. Iman Cosmetics cater to women of color. The store is on the outskirts of the nearest metro city. I only know Iman Cosmetics exist here because I was stopping by the store on my commute home from work one day. There are other smaller Target stores within 10 minutes from my home. The Greatland Store is at least 20 minutes away in an area which I do not frquent much in terms of shopping. Ultimately, what will end up happening...the Iman line will FLOP! Why? Because the population of San Ramon, California which is mostly Caucasian will not buy Iman in enough volume to prove profitable. It will then be reduced to the lowest clearance price to move it out of the store and then it will be gone. The store buyers will NOT re-up. Why would they if the sales of the line is not successful? WE'VE GOT TO SEE IT IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO MAKE THE DECISION TO BUY IT!!!!!!
shoegal1001 shoegal1001 9 years
I saw Bare Escentuals at a Target the other day and it completely threw me off. Especially seen Bare Escentuals isn't a brand you can commonly find. The only other place I can get it besides the BE store itself is Sephora! Seeing it at target completely confused me and I'm not sure if I like it...
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
If this would have been done the right way I would like it, but since Target went about it in a shady way, I'm not a fan.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I like it. I think it's about time that we give access to products like this to everyday people. I personally hate going to a salon to buy products and there aren't places around me that sell Clarins and nicer products like that since I live in a very casual environment and most people aren't really into their appearance. Personally I would like to be able to buy these items for myself. I can see why the beauty companies would be mad though. I know Target sells salon-only haircare products that you're told to buy only at the salon and they're probably counterfeits. I don't know if it's the same deal with these products though. I think it would be a lot better if Target went through the proper channels though.
thegiraffe thegiraffe 9 years
Nah, I need the whole buyer experience. Going beauty shopping is so different from the grocery kind of shopping. Target definitely falls in the second category :)
GibsonGIrl GibsonGIrl 9 years
My worry is that the upscale products won't be sold at a discount and ultimately Target will begin to raise their prices on other products more (clotehs, shoes, etc) because it will be getting too big for its britches.
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 9 years
Hmmmm - I am divided on the topic.
Melo-D Melo-D 9 years
I would be all for it if Target was buying directly from the company. If you're going to sell higher end brands, at least come directly from the vendor. Who knows how many people have "handled" a product by then.
shopping42 shopping42 9 years
I'm going to run to target-don't know if products are cheaper etc. but I do know I will be able to purchase everything at one store that does give somme pretty hefty moolah to organizations that help the poor and those in need-so forget about the experience of Macy's Nordy's etc-they do care and if it was so illegal there would be lawsuits going on-so I'll buy catfood etc along w/high end cosmetics!
judeandam judeandam 9 years
i talked to my hairstylist about this and she said its an issue because the high name branded hair products are supposed to be sold through professional hair salons only - most of the products even state this on their container somewhere. i'm not exactly sure why this is, but i can see why the companies would be upset. target SOMETIMES sells the products at a slightly lower price, but the items that i've looked at are the same price or more than what they sell for at salons. at salons, most of the time they're sold at the MSRP set by the brand. so by their products being sold at target, they may be losing out on money. personally, i get my products from the salon. i really appreciate my hair care professional advising me on what hair products are good for my hair type and for the styles that i want to achieve - i've had the same stylist for years and i know she's not just pulling my leg when she recommends a product. so maybe the brands are wanting to make sure their users choose the right product. i guess in the end, it'll all come down to money. if the hair product companies have enough lawyers to take on the target corporation, then maybe they'll win this suit. but i'm still sticking to buying from salons :)
shopper90210 shopper90210 9 years
If you dont want to buy high end products from Target then dont!
melissabritt melissabritt 9 years
If we were talking Louis Vuitton or Gucci that'd be one thing but it's shampoo...come on. I'm psyched it's at Tarjay! It saves me an extra trip with two toddlers. Yay Bumble & Bumble! Bring it!
rgrl rgrl 9 years
Mintie, I agree with what you're saying, but most BA's are actually salespeople. The ones I've come across have not been that knowledgeable.
rgrl rgrl 9 years
Good idea, but their selection is pretty pathetic, and their return policy sucks! Basicaly you can't return exchange any used cosmetic. Like if you get a rash and you paid an arm and a leg for something you have to just throw it out or give it away. I love Sephora for their policy.
brightongirl brightongirl 9 years
I love it, because I can look at what I want, touch it, pick it up and put it back, even smell the fragrances as opposed to dealing with a department store's counters.
bananana bananana 9 years
I haven't noticed this at the Target that I go to, and I just went there yesterday! I would *LOVE* to see OPI and essie nail polishes there, as well as Kiehl's. I hope these brands come to my Target soon! :D
Mintie Mintie 9 years
This personally doesn't affect me, because Nordstrom is much more convenient for me to get to than Target. But part of the draw of a prestige line is the Beauty Advisor. I've never been in a Sephora, but it seems that they are doing the same as Target here... the associates at Sephora have not been trained by each line individually, so they cannot offer the same expertise as a BA at a dept store. [I know some people feel like they're getting expert advise @ Sephora, but it is impossible, as they are not trained in depth to tell me what is different about a new formula, or what a new night cream does, etc.] On the other hand, it would be nice to have a quick/cheap alternative to pop in and pick up my maintenance items [i.e., items that I do not need a BA for]. But if what I'm hearing is correct, Target is not offering these items at a lower rate. Nor are we guaranteed of freshness. And on the same token, I'm back on the Beauty Advisor rant on that point as well, in that my BA knows when I'm running low on something, or knows to call me when a special is running on something I use, etc. Basically, it's a moot point for me. I have to travel out of my way [on several busses or with lots of walking] to get to a Target, when Nordstrom is a lovely little stroll from work.
Alisha_Stiletto Alisha_Stiletto 9 years
Im all about making beauty products more accessible to the masses. Good times.
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