Beauty store_iStock

Photo : iStock

The turf war in the Indian cosmetics retail space is set to intensify. The Tata Group is reported to be in the process of launching “beauty tech” stores. The plan is to enter the space with at least 20 such stores.

So what’s the plan? The Tata Group’s plan is to attract young and affluent shoppers to purchase premium cosmetic products from its hi-tech stores. This was reported by Reuters news agency citing a company document as well as a source who was in the know of the strategy. As of now, Tatas have refused to comment on the report.

And the strategy is…: The ‘beauty tech’ stores will have virtual makeup kiosks and digital skin tests to cater to the needs of targeted customers. The stores will have exclusive products to enhance the USP factor.

What’s the customer profile? The target audience is people in the age group of 18 to 45 who are beauty enthusiasts. The aim is to get relatively young and affluent customers to the stores who prefer to shop in comfortable surroundings and are ‘non-bargainers’ as far as premium pricing of international brands is concerned. The document says potential customers have been identified as those with a minimum annual income of Rs 600,000 or USD 7,358. The annual income of these targeted customers is nearly thrice of Indians’ average annual earnings of USD 2,000.

Foreign brands like Estee Lauder’s M.A.C and Bobbi Brown and potential partners like The Honest Company, Ellis Brooklyn and Gallinee are expected to be roped in.

What will be the stores like? The report says the stores will feature a bright red facade and will have ‘Tata CLiQ Palette’ branding. Recently, Tatas had launched their beauty online app ‘Tata CLiQ Palette’. These stores will reportedly be enabled with technology to allow shoppers to try on lipstick shades virtually on screens and also undergo digital skin tests to know which products are to their liking. All this is part of the ‘experiential retail’ concept which is still new in the Indian beauty retail space.

In which cities will the stores open? As per the details available, Tatas will enter the beauty retail brick-and-mortar space in big cities first – like Delhi and Mumbai – before taking a call on smaller locations.

And the competition? The beauty and personal care industry is pegged at USD 16 billion in India and Tatas’ entry will pit it against LVMH’s Sephora and domestic rival Nykaa. LVMH’s Sephora has 26 outlets in the country and has been fulfilling the needs of the affluent for nearly a decade now. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance is also planning to launch 400 beauty stores across India and the first one is expected to be functional at a Mumbai mall next month. Tatas’ first store, however, may take up to March to get going. Online beauty retailer Nykaa, meanwhile, has 124 functional outlets and the plan is to take the number to 300.


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