Companies in this industry operate physical retail establishments that primarily sell cosmetics, beauty supplies and toiletries, and perfume. Major US companies include Sally Beauty Supply, Ulta, Sephora, and divisions of L Brands (Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret) and L’Oreal (The Body Shop International).
High margins, repeat purchases, easy storage, and cheap shipping all serve to make the retailing of cosmetics, beauty supplies, and perfume highly attractive -- and highly competitive. Established competitors for cosmetics, beauty supply, and perfume stores include department stores, mass merchandisers, drug stores, TV shopping networks, internet retailers, distributors, supermarkets, manufacturers, and salons. In-home sales providers such as Avon and Mary Kay also compete in the direct sales channel. In addition, some beauty stores compete with dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and spas in the high-end market for cosmetics and skin care. Subscription beauty product services such as Allure Beauty Box and Birchbox are gaining in popularity, especially among younger buyers.
Products, Operations & Technology
Cosmetics, face cream, and perfume make up about 75% of industry sales; other sources of revenue include hygienic products such as deodorant, hair care, and shaving items. Some stores sell hair dryers, curling irons, and other personal care appliances.