Regional department store Belk on Wednesday announced the launch of its first in-house beauty line, dubbed Belk Beauty, available online and in-store.
The retailer in a press release said the collection "is inspired by the brand's southern roots," drawing "inspiration from the styles of Atlanta, Charlotte, Charleston, Savannah, Dallas and Nashville," and is available in all stores.
The assortment features lip, eye and face palettes and is priced between $10 to $22, Belk said.
Belk is emphasizing its Southern roots in unveiling this collection, which takes advantage of a retail segment that is booming right now.
"The debut of Belk Beauty comes at a time when makeup is an integral form of self-expression and personal style," the company said this week. It also comes at a time when beauty sales are surging in stores and online, with competition endangering department stores' strength in the category.
The retailer is joining rivals in attempting to reclaim beauty sales, which have been a department store mainstay for decades but have also been disrupted by specialty retailers like Sephora and Ulta. Drugstores have similarly lost share as the specialty players enticed shoppers with broad assortments, self-guided displays and excellent customer service. While online players like Birchbox a few years ago seemed poised to disrupt brick-and-mortar's hold on the market, e-commerce so far hasn't much dented store-based sales.
J.C. Penney's route has been to partner up with Sephora, and those concessions have been one of that discount department store's few bright spots. But few retailers are ignoring beauty's potential these days, with Macy's, Saks, Target and H&M adding to their assortments and services, including private labels.
Sephora in particular isn't taking those renewed efforts lightly, and continues to innovate, especially in stores. Jean-Jacques Guiony, CFO of Sephora owner LVMH, in July said that the banner is doing particularly well in the U.S., that its innovation is actually "gathering speed" and that further opportunities remain in the U.S. in light of the strong beauty market there.