1) The secondhand beauty market is growing, proof that technology and community can make used beauty products profitable for resellers.

WHAT HAPPENED: Online platforms Glambot and Poshmark are normalizing makeup and skincare reselling by using technology that authenticates, sanitizes and repackages products. Just like clothing resale platforms, customers send in lightly-used items and, if approved, sell them to other shoppers directly on the platform.

WHY IT MATTERS

  • The growing interest in secondhand beauty products goes against the idea that some categories won’t thrive with resale. Beauty products, specifically items placed directly on the face, are among the most personal products consumers use, the ones most likely to share germs and potentially cause harm. The initial consumer and industry skepticism about Rent the Runway—from adoption to hygiene—apply to second-hand beauty products. But developments around counterfeit detection and sanitation technology; the strong social media presence; and online forums promoting the platforms all prove that early adopters can make or break a market.
  • Beauty resale allows “fast beauty” consumers to remain on-trend while solving the consumption problem that fast beauty created. Digitally-native beauty brands like Glossier or Kylie Cosmetics rely on consistent product drops, relevant social media campaigns and affordable pricing that invites consumers to constantly collect beauty products. This ultimately leads them to buy more than they really need to. While fast beauty is still status quo, the beauty resale market enables this same target audience to lessen their carbon footprint and save money.

2) Bath & Body Works reports 40 quarters of consistent sales growth, signaling that some brands can navigate slowing mall traffic to continue thriving.

WHAT HAPPENED: Bath & Body Works has 1,600 stores across the U.S. and Canada, the majority of which are in malls. Bath & Body Works accounts for more than one-third of parent company L Brands’ revenue.

WHY IT MATTERS

  • Bath & Body Works’ stores are often located in second or third-tier malls, a focal point for shoppers in non-urban areas throughout the country. As mall vacancies continue to rise, the brand’s sense of discovery and consistency over 30 years have made it a destination. With new floorsets launched every three to six weeks, featuring hundreds of new items at a time, the brand keeps customers coming back. Even if Sephora or Ulta stores are nearby, Bath & Body Works’ accessible price point is simpler and more attainable than a multi-brand beauty chain while being more upscale than a Walmart or Walgreens.
  • Bath & Body Works’ focus on vertical scents rather than product expansion is a highly-effective upsell strategy. Contrary to color cosmetics like eyeshadow and blush palettes, Bath & Body Works allows shoppers to identify their signature scent and then stick to it because it’s available across multiple product lines (body lotion, body spray, a bar of soap, a bath bomb and a candle). Paired with a constantly-evolving product assortment and new scent development, Bath & Body Works can focus on newness and repeat customers.

3) New Guards Group acquired Opening Ceremony, which aims to capitalize on the company’s brand awareness while eschewing the retail stores that made it famous.

WHAT HAPPENED: New Guards Group, the Farfetch-owned brand platform, acquired Opening Ceremony’s intellectual property and secured a design contract with its two founders to focus on its private label merchandise. New Guards will move the brand’s manufacturing to Italy and its website to Farfetch.

WHY IT MATTERS:

  • While the acquisition allows Opening Ceremony to expand internationally, it should stay focused on the New York City market. Opening Ceremony can attribute the bulk of its success to its New York City origins and being in the right place at the right time. While Opening Ceremony is known worldwide, its business isn’t proven globally and expanding internationally takes away focus on its business in key urban markets. Famed Seattle retailer Totokaelo ran into a similar issue when it opened its first store in New York City, where it tried to replicate its model. But what made the brand special in Seattle didn’t translate to success in New York City, an issue Opening Ceremony will need to be mindful of as it expands.
  • Opening Ceremony is the latest addition to a long list of boutique third-party retailers that have either gone bankrupt, sold for a small amount of money or significantly scaled down their operations. Opening Ceremony’s distinct ability to merchandise under-the-radar brands alongside legacy players enabled the retailer to cultivate a loyal following. But social media shifted the fashion consumer’s focus away from stores like Colette, Totokaleo or Opening Ceremony and onto a number of digital platforms from Net-a-porter to Farfetch itself to media companies like Highsnobiety and Hypebeast. Discovery alone is no longer a viable value proposition for third-party retailers.

4) Goop will launch a wellness cruise, which strengthens the brand’s position as a wellness leader and attracts a new audience to cruises.

WHAT HAPPENED: Goop is partnering with Celebrity Cruises to launch “Goop at Sea,” an 11-night wellness cruise around Spain, France and the Italian Riviera. Participants will meet CEO Gwenyth Paltrow at the start of the cruise, where she will discuss her personal wellness journey.

WHY IT MATTERS:

  • “Goop at Sea” and the success of the brand’s previous retreats prove that consumers are hungry for personal wellness experiences fused with entertainment. While wellness retreats are nothing new, they are niche and often more serious—requiring preparation and sometimes personal sacrifice to reach one’s desired wellness goal. Goop’s events grant participants access to the brand’s celebrity founder and allow anyone who can afford the trip to join. Goop wellness events offer a liberal and expansive lens on wellness, from traditional yoga and meditation Goop to celebrity speakers, CBD massages and craft cocktails. Goop’s wellness principles focus more on fun and approachability than work.
  • While a cruise retreat is beneficial for “Goopies,” it’s arguably most advantageous for Celebrity Cruises who can market its experiences to a new audience. Once regarded as “America’s vacation of choice” cruises are often associated with more habitual travelers—people who take cruises as their primary method of vacation, which does not include most Goop followers. With a lot of press around “Goop at Sea” and 2,900 open spots on the cruise ship, this Goop summit will be a win-win for everyone involved and set the stage for the brand to expand further into hospitality.