BW Confidential - Issue #4 - October/December 2010 - (Page 37)

Retailing Insight: Fragrance Selling skills How fragrance can be better merchandised, serviced and sold in-store by Oonagh Phillips “ t’s the experiment we’re all waiting for—the re-invention of the art of selling fragrance,” one brand manager recently told BW Confidential. The wait could be a long one: the number of launches may have accelerated over the years, but the way fragrances are sold hasn’t changed that much in the past decade. For fragrance expert Michael Edwards, this re-invention needs to be about putting less emphasis on the product and promotion in-store, and transforming fragrance selling into an “experience”. In terms of product it’s clear that there is simply too much in most stores for the consumer to sort through. A recent study by beauty group Coty shows that in a typical European perfumery, sales are made by only a third of the 400-500 fragrance lines on shelf. And while retailers insist that they need to offer a broad range, an American study found that in most industries around 25% of skus can be eliminated without affecting consumer satisfaction (indeed, in most cases, satisfaction increases, as shopping becomes easier). Coty’s research also indicates that in the fragrance category only 22% of consumers in-store made a purchase, and that in France 40% of shoppers had already planned their purchase before going to the store, but only half of them ended up buying a product—a sure sign that the consumer is confused and a little lost. Delivering a more edited assortment may be easier if retailers took more time figuring out what it is they stand for. “Retailers see something and then try to copy it at their own stores; so often they end up not knowing what they are selling and why. They need to find their own style based on the demographic of the client,” says Roja Dove, founder of the Haute Parfumerie at UK department store Harrods. In short, retailers need to become a lot more specialist. Industry watchers say that in Europe major chains could easily try out a more I specialist approach by testing a smaller assortment of fragrance brands in just one or two stores. These chains could also trial a return to the traditional perfumery—a fragrance-only store with a strong level of service. Mixed-up merchandising When it comes to merchandising, each way of organizing the category has its advantages and drawbacks. Most brands dislike the alphabetical displays found in European perfumeries. And given that there are now so many fragrance brands, consumers are confronted with names they haven’t heard of before and are unlikely to test the lesser known scents, while being drawn to familiar brand names. There is a strong case for merchandising by lifestyle groups, such as designer or celebrity fragrances for example, or by fragrance family, such as florals or orientals. P&G Prestige fragrances US ceo Don Loftus told BW Confidential that classifying by lifestyle is much more logical than having “a mismatch of bottles with Britney Spears sitting next to Donna Karan.” However, the labels the retailer uses for these lifestyle areas needs to be carefully considered. “I find the idea of merchandising by designers and celebrities a bit ho-hum. Retailers should look at terms that speak to the consumer, such as ‘our staff’s favorites’, similar to what bookshops do; this would also get n n n 37 October-December 2010 - N°4 - BW Confidential s s Harrods, with Roja Dove’s Haute Parfumerie (above) and Printemps, with its Scent Room (left) have created special areas for niche and luxury fragrance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BW Confidential - Issue #4 - October/December 2010

- Brand & retail news recap
- Digital digest
- Companies on the move
Take note
- Market facts, figures & trends
Best of BW
- Highlights from our e-publication
- The latest in fragrance, skincare & make-up
- BPI president Rémy Gomez
Insight: fragrance
- Category overview
- Retailing
- Industry viewpoint
- New opportunities
- Launch roundup
- Airport Spas
- Spa case studies
- New store concepts
Travel retail
- Market overview
- Retail strategies
- Interview: World Duty Free & Aldeasa
Show preview
- TFWA World Exhibition
- Six up-and-coming beauty brands
Market watch: India
- Country overview
- Industry roundtable
- Retailing analysis
- Sector outlook
- Sustainability
Last word
- Mintel head beauty consultant Nica Lewis

BW Confidential - Issue #4 - October/December 2010