H-E-B has launched a beauty store-within-a-store that brings a more engaging shopping experience and elevated customer service from trained beauty advisers.
Called Beauty by H-E-B, the 4,000-square-foot boutique opened Friday inside the H-E-B plus! supermarket at Highway 281 and Evans Road in San Antonio. A pink runway leads customers into the stylish shop, which houses an expanded selection of beauty and personal care products in four sections: color cosmetics, hair care, skin care and naturals.
Evocative of specialty beauty chains like Sephora and Ulta, Beauty by H-E-B is designed to provide an interactive, hands-on shopping experience, in which H-E-B said customers are “transported into a world of glamour and style.” The format’s vivid color palette, contemporary signage and shelf lighting contribute to an upscale look and feel.
Product trial is a key focus, as mirrored testing stations enable customers to experiment and “play with” items ranging from foundation and facial cleanser to lipstick and lotion as they shop favorite brands, the San Antonio-based retailer said. Digital screens throughout the department offer informational videos, and a mirrored, voice-activated screen allows customers to take photos to share on social media.
Beauty by H-E-B serves up a “highly curated” selection of popular beauty and personal care brands, including everyday products found at many H-E-B stores, plus prestige brands such as Smashbox, Pixi, AHC, Vichy and La Roche-Posay, the retailer said.
H-E-B noted that the concept redefines how consumers shop beauty and personal care at its stores.
“Beauty by H-E-B provides that oasis within the store where the customer can pamper themselves,” Tracy Bliss, director of beauty at H-E-B, said in a statement. “We’ve created a destination within the store where a talented team of beauty advisers will help customers pick out the perfect items that lend themselves to the creation of new beauty rituals.”
A linchpin of Beauty by H-E-B is the extra service and expert advice provided by the shop’s team of beauty advisors, who are “passionate about all things beauty,” H-E-B said. Each adviser receives more than 100 hours of training and can provide personalized services, ranging from setting up skin care routines and personal care rituals to identifying products for more precise color matching.
At the front of the boutique is the Beauty Connections kiosk, where each day the beauty advisers showcase new items, hold product demonstrations and offer customers product recommendations.
“We want to make people feel good about themselves and connect with customers in a positive way,” commented licensed esthetician Ashley Gallegos, a 13-year H-E-B partner who leads the beauty adviser staff. “We have such an amazing, talented team here to educate and help our customers look and feel their best.”
An H-E-B spokeswoman said Beauty by H-E-B currently is a pilot concept, and the company will evaluate it before deciding whether to pursue a broader store rollout.
Beauty care has become a focal point in recent years as retailers in the food, drug and mass channel hatch new concepts to make their stores more compelling shopping destinations. Chains have endeavored to recreate the success of specialty players like Sephora and Ulta in encouraging shoppers to browse and spend time in their stores trying out trendy products and interacting with trained associates. Retailers that have upped their game in beauty with new in-store concepts and expanded offerings include Target, Hy-Vee, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy and Rite Aid, among others.