Inside CVS, Glamsquad’s Growing Relationship

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Inside CVS, Glamsquad’s Growing Relationship

By Jacqueline Barba - 11/20/2019

CVS Pharmacy in October deepened its relationship with on-demand beauty service Glamsquad to exclusively launch a new line of hair care and beauty tools dubbed GSQ by Glamsquad.

The new brand was born from the duo's shared desire to democratize beauty with Millennial and Gen Z consumers in mind, CVS said. Reaching across categories, it flaunts a simplistic aesthetic with light pink/beige packaging and depicts a solid strip of color such as pink, orange, teal or dark purple on most SKUs. Items range in price from $4.99-$79.99, and spans hair tools including straighteners, curling irons and blow dryers; hair product like dry shampoo and hair spray; and other personal care SKUs such as nail filers and eye brow tools.

In conjunction with the new line, CVS is further deepening its relationship with Glamsquad by expanding the BeautyIRL store concept it unveiled last year to nearly 50 more stores in key markets including New York, Los Angeles and Boston. This move brings a form of the exclusive, Glamsquad-powered express beauty bar – which offers select hair, makeup and skincare services – to the new markets following a successful four-store BeautyIRL pilot.

“In today’s rapidly evolving beauty retail landscape, customers want three things: brands, experience and service,” claimed Maly Bernstein, vice president, beauty and personal care for CVS Health in an October media release. “We are incredibly excited at how customers responded to our BeautyIRL format, which drew Millennials and Gen-Z customers at impressive rates and showed customer growth across several age groups. As one of the nation’s largest health and beauty retailers, we recognized an opportunity to deliver a more inspiring, interactive in-store shopping experience for our customers and we’re excited to expand this format into additional markets.”

According to CVS, its partnership with Glamsquad aims to deliver an “omnichannel service experience” to new and existing shoppers, while providing an avenue for shopper exploration of new, trend-driven product offerings.

The omnichannel experience spans both CVS and Glamsquad, supporting last month’s launch of GSQ by Glamsquad with prime merchandising space as well as digital and print activity as the brand continues rolling out to select CVS stores nationwide.

Online support spans a dedicated brand shop within cvs.com, a dedicated website (gsqbyglamsquad.com), paid search ads, a number of social media updates from the CVS Beauty Instagram account and a new GSQ by Glamsquad account. Multiple circular features have also been promoting the new line.

In-store merchandising varies based on the store layout, but many CVS locations have spotlighted GSQ by Glamsquad in the beauty aisles with cute in-line displays loosely depicting a bathroom sink complete with a little mirror and fake tile. The display follows a similar creative and color scheme employed online and on the packaging, while many images attached to the display are also used online and on social media. The top of the display communicates that the brand is “Craved and coveted by [Glamsquad’s] Beauty Pros and community,” while inviting shoppers to meet the latest "aisle-stopping, top shelf-shopping, photo-opping beauty icons.”

At the new BeautyIRL concept stores, however, the brand receives even more of a spotlight. One store in Irvine, CA, stocks SKUs from the new brand on a “CVS Beauty Spotlight” floorstand that even depicts the retailer’s frequently used “New a CVS” icon. The stand additionally called out CVS’ Beauty Club. GSQ by Glamsquad hair care tools also received endcap space within the department.

This isn’t the first exclusive brand CVS has welcomed. Last year, the drugstore chain partnered with Kiss Products to curate a Korean-beauty-inspired beauty brand dubbed Joah. Products have continued to expand in cosmetics and range in price from $2.99 to $13.99. They are sold in CVS stores, on cvs.com and on the brand's own website.

NOTE: For more on CVS Pharmacy, visit p2pi.org. Path to Purchase Institute members have access to more than 3,400 images and 400 articles of marketing and merchandising activity at CVS, along with a full Retailer Profile outlining the chain’s operations and strategies.