BW Confidential - Issue #8 - October/December 2011 - (Page 42)

Insight: Fragrance Retailing strategies Food for thought How can the retail experience for buying fragrance be improved? We look at four innovative stores and the ideas they have put in place to help consumers test and buy scent by Oonagh Phillips T he retail experience is seen as one of the biggest stumbling blocks to selling fragrances. Given the sheer number of products available, analysts say retailers need to do more to guide their consumers and help them buy. “The main problem is confusion and retailers have not accepted that it’s not easy for consumers to find fragrances, and that they should be helping them,” says fragrance expert Michael Edwards. “Retailers need to set up a central area in the store or a fragrance station where they can help consumers choose a fragrance, give advice and let them test and provide samples. But the problem is they often don’t want to spend the money to do this,” he continues. This type of ‘fragrance concierge’ service has been implemented by some players, such as the Lane Crawford department store in Hong Kong. Others say stores need to do more to segment their selling practices and services by consumer profile, for example by having a replenishment point for those who want to buy their regular scent and another area for consumers who are on the lookout for something new. Sampling is another area that needs improvement. In department stores, especially in the US, consumers often associate fragrance sampling with demonstrators who push scent strips in their face or try to spray them with the latest launches. However, recently some of these stores have told staff to be a bit more subdued with their spritzing. Instead of spritzing, experts advocate giving samples so consumers can test the fragrance on their own time and in a less stressful environment. There is also a case for selling larger-sized samples, which would allow the consumer to test the scent on their skin for a few days before buying. In the fragrance blogosphere consumers are often asking that brands allow them to buy a sample to try before investing $60 or more in a product that they may not like later on. Parfums Jovoy, Paris France The Parfums Jovoy boutique in Paris claims its concept is the opposite to that of the commercial perfumery. The 90m2 (967ft2) boutique houses ‘hard-to find brands’ and each brand is allotted the same sized space and identical merchandising display: a transparent, open glass cube that contains the product range without its outer packaging so the bottle is highlighted. In addition, the testers are housed in identical vintage glass bottles placed on a shelf that runs across the shop. The containers feature a porous glass stopper, which cuts down on the alcoholic vapors that are released when a scent is sprayed. The service aspect is also different. “In a regular perfumery, if you’re not left to find what you’re looking for by yourself, a BA will hand you a scent-soaked strip, recount a dumbed-down version of the press release and sell you the main notes. This makes you feel like your nose is being burned by the top notes, which are the least interesting for a scent that you want to last on your skin,” says Parfums Jovoy founder François Hénin. “We use old bottle stoppers that aren’t soaked with fragrance and so give an idea of the scent’s substance. We begin by explaining the base notes and work up,” he adds. The store offers the fragrances in 2ml as samples and will introduce 8ml bottles for sale. It also holds fragrance workshops on a reservation-only basis. As for online, Hénin believes a lot more can be done and a re-launched version of the store’s website in September is intended to communicate the ‘art of perfumery’. “Today it’s all about press files and top notes, but on our site we want to tell the story behind each creator in a sexy video format,” he says. Bloggers will also be invited to evalute and talk about scents. n n n 42 October-December 2011 - N°8 - BW Confidential

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BW Confidential - Issue #8 - October/December 2011

- Brand & retail news recap
- 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
- Estée Lauder Companies group president international Cédric Prouvé
Insight: Fragrance
- Category overview
- Retailer roundtable
- Retailing strategies
- Rare fragrance brands
- Launch roundup
- Spa chains
- Spa case studies
- E-commerce
- Store concepts
Travel retail
- Sector analysis
- Hainan & China Duty Free Group
- Retail concepts
- Passenger habits
- Industry experts on harnassing the power of social networks
- Six up-and-coming beauty brands
Market watch: Russia
- Country overview
- Prestige retailing
- Industry viewpoint
- Market outlook
- Sustainabilty
- Trends
Last word
- Buyology Inc president & co-founder Donna Sturgess

BW Confidential - Issue #8 - October/December 2011