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Building M&S Beauty Credibility

New Products, Pricing, Promotions

‘Janet is a very experienced professional in the beauty industry. Level headed with clear vision, direction and the ability to drive business forward. Janet has excellent beauty market knowledge, gives clear direction of travel for design and pricing structure. Janet led the teams through a complete product design change showing clear direction and advising on what the key marketing messages should be, incorporating her technical knowledge and beauty expertise.’

Jitka, Buyer, Marks & Spencer

SUCCESS HIGHLIGHTS
Led the Buying and Product Development Team for private label beauty across 9 categories for M&S, from ‘concept to shelf’. Managed Far Eastern and European suppliers accountable for over 800 product lines in 750 stores and international franchises. Conceptualized and launched innovative skincare, new fragrances, body lines and gifting increasing total forecasted sales for both categories by 10% Relaunched beauty accessories with a new design direction, in new packaging and with innovative new products.

THE ISSUE
M&S competed with branded beauty across leading department stores on the high street. Beauty department was hidden behind lingerie in stores, rather than positioned on the ground floor as a key footfall driver. Beauty sales were predominantly driven by private label gifting, fragrance and toiletries. Beauty department lacked dedicated staffing with beauty expertise. Skincare was difficult to shop. Beauty accessories were poorly packaged and merchandised in-store.

 

THE APPROACH

CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAM WORK
Worked with a cross-functional team of buyers, merchandisers, technologists, designers, marketing, PR and creative agencies to develop the product strategy for skincare, cosmetics, fragrances, sun care, beauty accessories, travel accessories, electricals, sunglasses and cosmetics bags.

IMPROVED COSTS AND QUALITY
Sourced, negotiated and managed Far East and European suppliers and contract manufacturers to deliver improvements in margins, quality and fulfilment and to develop more innovative products.

STAFF TRAINING, LOCATION, PR
Advised on training of permanent staff for their beauty department, better store locations and merchandising to enable ease of shopping. Advised on better visibility of beauty online, and in their in-store magazine raising profile and credibility of beauty.

CREDIBLE SKINCARE
Introduced innovative new products including serums, eye creams, eye make-up removers, day and night creams, skincare gifts and beauty electricals. Negotiated and implemented new pricing for skincare improving margins, and introduced a new merchandising unit, for ease of shopping.

INCREASED FRAGRANCE SALES
Working with international fragrances houses, Givaudan and CPL, mapped out gaps within M&S fragrance portfolio to develop best-selling fragrances, body lines and gift sets.

RELAUNCHED BEAUTY ACCESSORIES
Together with the buying team and suppliers conducted market research, based on consumer insights repackaged and relaunched over 75 beauty accessory products.

BRANDED BEAUTY
Branded beauty was a concept M&S were looking to introduce. Working with the pilot Branded Beauty team, advised on which brands to approach and the strategy for securing premium brands without cannibalizing sales of their private label beauty.

 

PROJECT RESULTS
Janet led the beauty department through the development and launch of innovative new products across skincare, cosmetics, fragrances, sun care, beauty accessories to deliver an increase in sales and margins, improve PR, merchandising and in-store locations.  Branded beauty was introduced – albeit at a later stage – and this has repositioned the beauty offering within M&S balancing private label beauty with niche beauty brands.