Known for its strong cult-like following and shopper loyalty, Texas-based grocer H-E-B is betting that enthusiasm will translate from its grocery aisles into its new beauty aisles. H-E-B became the latest retailer to reimagine its beauty department in November, introducing its first Beauty by H-E-B store concept in San Antonio. At nearly 4,000 square feet, the store guns for a larger slice of the beauty market share with an expanded, curated assortment of mass and trendy beauty products, a more modern and enhanced shopper experience, and a fun aesthetic complete with illumination and color to liven up the department and encourage discovery. Path to Purchase IQ recently took a closer look at the San Antonio store and was surprised by the product range and familiar aesthetic that almost makes you forget you are in a supermarket. For more on this store, as well as the H-E-B chain as a whole, visit P2PI.org.
- As self-care continues to trend, Beauty by H-E-B includes a large, green wall display for relevant products and decor such as salt lamps, candles, succulents and soaps under a “Naturals” sign, giving off a warm, clean boutique vibe. An adjacent “Naturals Trend” display elevates particularly trendy products, which at the time of our visit were protein and collagen juices, powders and supplements from Vital Proteins. Nearby, green gondola displays stock a variety of natural, sustainable and plant-based personal care and wellness items.
- The department is primarily divided into four sections: cosmetics, hair care, skin care and naturals. The cosmetics section stocks a substantially larger range of cosmetics from brands including Coty’s CoverGirl, E.l.f. Cosmetics and L’Oreal Paris, as well as select prestige beauty brands such as Estee Lauder’s Becca. High-top chairs and test-and-play stations with illuminated mirrors display disposable product applicators to encourage trial, just like you would see at an Ulta or Sephora.
- Upon entering the department, a not-to-be-missed strip of pink flooring that gives the illusion of a runway leads through the center to a tall, illuminated mirror that doubles as a voice-activated screen and allows shoppers to take photos and share on social media. Rows of illuminated gondola displays and header signs calling out particular brands line the area.
- Digital screens providing informational videos and motion-powered advertisements as well as endcaps outfitted with TV screens are scattered throughout the store
- Positioned at the front of the beauty department, H-E-B’s beauty advisors staff the “Beauty Connection” kiosk, showcasing new products and offering shoppers product recommendations and demos daily.
- The hair care section merchandises a slew of both traditional and premium brands including L’Oreal’s Garnier Whole Blends and Pureology, Unilever’s Nexxus, and Paul Mitchell.
- H-E-B notably made room for men’s grooming products using an illuminated “Men’s Care” endcap as the market is expected to hit $166 billion in 2022, according to Allied Market Research. Products from Cremo, Colomer Beauty Brands USA’s American Crew and Every Man Jack shared the spot.