QVC plans 1st exclusive beauty brand
QVC announced Monday the development of its first exclusive beauty brand, Carmindy Beauty, which will be created with Batallure Beauty and will sell exclusively on QVC starting in September.
The color cosmetics collection will include 16 items and several kits, including eye shadow, brow pencils, mascara and other products, according to a company press release. The items range in price from $15 to $70 and cater to all women, "regardless of age or skin type," per the release.
This focus on beauty is an attempt to "expand Qurate Retail Group's prestige beauty category as a strategic growth pillar for the organization," according to the company, and the video commerce business is already considering rolling out the partnership across Qurate Retail Group's other brands and platforms.
Exclusive brands are not new for QVC, and indeed the company has had them in the fashion and home categories for years, but beauty — specifically prestige beauty — appears to be the next focus for the company. It's not very hard to see why — beauty is an incredibly popular category (just ask Glossier after its most recent funding round) and has been the object of much attention from retailers of all stripes. Drugstores and department stores have upped their offerings, and private labels have sprung up from the likes of Saks Off Fifth and Amazon, among others.
"The rapid growth of social media and digital commerce has created an unprecedented demand for beauty products, and QVC is uniquely positioned to offer customers a truly one-of-a-kind shopping experience that can't be replicated in brick and mortar or by e-commerce sites," Robin Burns, chairman and co-founder of Batallure Beauty, said in a statement about the partnership.
She also noted QVC's ability to build authentic relationships with customers through storytelling — something that has become the raison d'etre of many small, direct-to-consumer brands trying to differentiate from traditional players. While many argue that a strong brand story is key to the identity of any retailer, it's arguably more important in a visual format like video, where customers are interacting with brand ambassadors on a larger scale.
To that point, a retailer's choice of influencer is key to resonating with shoppers, and one that works for QVC may not work for Sephora, despite the fact that both are making a play for the prestige market. According to Rob Robillard, vice president of integrated beauty merchandising for QVC U.S., HSN and Zulily, the Batallure partnership fills a void in two senses: it helps the video commerce platform reach beauty shoppers "looking to discover differentiated and prestige products" and it offers a product assortment "for women who are looking to perfect the natural, 'no-makeup' look," previously underrepresented in their offerings.
Follow Cara Salpini on Twitter