It appears Target customers truly like The Honest Company. And now they can add Honest Beauty to their shopping carts along with the brand’s assortment in baby, personal care and household categories.
Target introduced The Honest Company into its mix in 2014 and since then the product assortment has nearly doubled. The retailer believes the time is right to add Honest Beauty, which hits 800 Target doors and target.com on Sunday March 26. With its positioning as a safe line with botanically derived ingredients producing effective results, the beauty range fits into Target’s quest to provide more “better for you” items.
The lineup includes 30 products (and 17 additional products, including shade extensions, on target.com) ranging from facial cleansers to crème blushes most priced under $35. Up until now, Honest Beauty, introduced in 2015, was sold online and at Ulta Beauty in the U.S.
Industry sources estimate Honest Beauty now has total sales of about $10 million, with the potential to double the brand’s volume by adding at least another $8 million to $10 million through Target exposure. Neither company would comment on projections.
But company founder Jessica Alba enthusiastically discussed her passion for the beauty category and her products, which she believes will attract shoppers to the beauty display and build incremental volume.
“Target has been one of my great partnerships,” said Alba in a phone interview with WWD. “There are shoppers coming to Target in the baby aisles or in fashion who don’t know they can find products they’d typically associate with a prestige environment. Target has really elevated its experience.”
Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, is equally confident about demand for Honest Beauty. “The Honest Brand has been tremendous since we launched [in baby and household]. Our guests really over index in [spending on] natural. It felt logical to expand into beauty since there is a huge amount of trust and love for the Honest brand,” Tritton explained.
The addition of Honest Beauty, which takes over space in premium skin care formerly occupied by Laniege (Target phased out of AmorePacific’s brand, which debuted in 2014, this month), comes on the heels of a flood of new lines in Target’s beauty department. Just recently, the chain added several natural brands such as Little Seed Farm, Nubian Heritage, Thayers Natural and W3ll People, while expanding existing ones. And Target made a big push into K-beauty with items handpicked by Alicia Yoon of Peach & Lily. Sales in the natural skin-care business at Target grew double-digits last year, the company said. Hopes are Honest Beauty will keep the momentum going.
“Jessica is a major strength, she provides credibility at a time when our guests are gravitating to natural and better-for-you products and we like to have an array,” Tritton said.
Alba, who is highly involved in all aspects of her brand, sought to duplicate the experience of her pop-up shop at The Grove in Los Angeles. That store inspired the display, which bears her image. Additionally, Honest’s field team will train Target’s Beauty Concierges about The Honest Beauty line. Alba plans to pop in unannounced at stores across the country to perform makeovers — potentially in tandem with her mom, she told WWD. The visits will be transmitted via Facebook Live feeds. “I love the idea that someone could just run into the store and wind up having their makeup done,” she added.
One of the key distinguishing factors of Honest Beauty, Alba said, is that although she eschews synthetic ingredients, the products are effective — something that hasn’t always been associated with “good-for-you” formulas. “It is my mission for everyone to have access to healthier, quality products — not just those in high tax brackets,” she said. She especially has her sights set on busy moms who frequent Target, a customer the mother of two daughters understands (she said she often makes trips to Target, most recently for ingredients to make slime). The brand was personal to her and was born out of Alba’s sensitive skin and longtime histories of allergic reactions to much of the skin care and makeup in the market.
“Jessica is hands-on and involved with the business day-to-day. She really understands the Target guest. She’s constantly thinking of natural extensions to meet the needs of our guests,” Tritton said.
Among Alba’s favorite items she believes will attract women are her Magic Balm, Truly Lush Mascara + Lash Primer and Truly Kissable Lip Crayon. She expects those will be gateway products enticing shoppers back for the full array including skin care. Through work and travel, Alba has traditionally been ahead of the trends in beauty. She vows to deliver products that aren’t “gimmicky,” but rather provide a purpose.
“It’s going to be a great year. We have a new chief executive officer, Nick Vlahos [a Clorox veteran] who will help us grow,” she said as the company expands from e-commerce to omnichannel. The Honest Beauty Company has widened distribution of its household and baby items in doors such as CVS, Babies ‘R’ Us and other major retailers.
Both Target and Alba’s Honest Beauty will help educate shoppers about the brand, which will also have its own landing page on target.com.
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