Moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, eyeliner, mascara, makeup remover, lipstick, astringent, eye shadow, foundation, bronzer, gel and hairspray—to say the beauty business offers a wide range of options would be quite an understatement. With so many choices, what’s a Target store to do to ensure guests feel at ease with and confident in their purchase? Apply a personalized touch from an expert. That’s the idea behind the beauty concierge pilot.

In July, 28 stores throughout the Chicago area began testing the Beauty Concierge program. By October, four more stores were added to the pilot, including the State Street CityTarget. Armed with an iPad, mirrors and product samples, two beauty-trained experts per store are on hand throughout various hours, ready to provide advice and help guests find the products that will help them look and feel their best—at a great value, of course.

“In the beauty department, there’s a lot of territory to cover, and finding the right product can be overwhelming,” says Cara Sylvester, Target senior buyer, Beauty. “Each beauty expert has been extensively trained, specifically in facial skincare and cosmetics, our most complicated categories. And when there’s a question they may not know the answer to, they have their iPad on them, equipped with the Target app and links to the manufacturers in addition to a portal with weekly training programs.”

Clad in black and wearing a beauty concierge-embossed apron, the experts are assigned to two stores throughout the week during high-traffic hours and days. Signs at the end of each aisle inform guests as to when the beauty experts will be in store.

“Guests have shared that they love the service, and team members shared they appreciate having experts on hand to answer the tough questions,” says Cara. The Chicago pilot will run until mid-2013 and will help test the program before a potential 300-400 store launch.

TAGS: design & innovation , stores , products , guests

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