A New Look
Rexall’s first steps included a complete redesign of its beauty departments. After looking at research from its customers and its store teams, the company decided to modernize its departments.
“That is why we went with a new look, feel and colors,” Kelly says, noting that the company adopted a shell look of black and white that allows the products’ colors and promotional images to stand out. “We created a template for them to come to life. We’re happy to celebrate our suppliers brand images and marketing.”
A Digital Anchor
Inspired Beauty’s launch enabled Rexall to increase its digital presence. “We’ve got a really robust program we’ve put in place for beauty,” Senior Director of Marketing Jennifer Zedic asserts. “Beauty is a unique market in that there is a lot of digital activity with customers.”
Beauty customers often watch how-to videos and follow product recommendations on social media. “That’s how they go forward to find information for the most part,” she says. “We want to ensure that a digital element was the anchor of our campaign around beauty.”
This allows Rexall to better target customers and make sure its messages are relevant to what they are looking for. “It really is a full omnichannel experience that the customer gets through our store, through print and online,” Zedic says.
Rexall’s digital presence will continue growing, Kelly predicts. “We used beauty as our entry point,” she says. “You’ll see a lot more from Rexall in the future.”
Rexall also branched out into influencer marketing, which enables promotion in social media through trusted beauty representatives. Through this process, “We invited [representatives] to come into Rexall and view the assortment,” Zedic describes.
Afterward, “They used their social media platform(s) to share their experience of going to Rexall,” Zedic says. “This reinforces Rexall’s strong commitment in the beauty realm.”
So far, this approach has been a hit. When the company invited representatives to visit the Inspired Beauty departments, they stayed longer than the company expected. “It was pretty incredible to see how the whole model worked,” Kelly says.
Rexall provides enhanced training for its Inspired Beauty employees. “We have new brands, so we need to train them on the brands,” Kelly says, noting that this is particularly important when it comes to skin care products.
“The Canadian environment has a very strong dermatological business,” she says. “So we’re always looking to train our associates on those brands and the different types of skin care.”
The company also changed its employees’ approach in customer interactions. “It’s really about asking a few questions and listening to what the customer wants to find,” Kelly says. Rexall’s employees also connect them to brand websites and how-to videos they can visit after they leave the store. “We really want to connect them to things they can use at home.”
Hitting the Mark
Kelly is proud of the customer response to Inspired Beauty. Not only have its stores enjoyed strong sales and repeat business, “They’re giving us really positive feedback, and that’s the Holy Grail that we’re looking for,” she says.
“We have had great success with our existing brands as well as with many of the new brands we’ve brought in,” Zedic says, “We found that the customer is really resonating with the assortment we are offering.”
Rexall’s locations with the Inspired Beauty departments have earned the strongest response, Kelly adds. “You hear people walk in the door – from teenagers to seniors – saying, ‘Wow, we love what you have done,’” she says. “We feel like we’ve been able to hit the mark and we hope to be able to continue to do that.”
Rexall has a robust growth plan for 2017. “We’ll see many more of the remodeled stores and new environments,” Kelly says, noting that it plans to add the Inspired Beauty format to all of its new stores as well.
Each location will be customized to its region. “We learned that each individual community is a little different and beauty requires that you understand that and bring the right brands in the right store,” she says. “We want to make sure we put the right offering forward.”