Luxe It or Leave It

The luxury market is thriving, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right business model for every retailer.
Courtesy of SKINS 6|2 COSMETICS

Located in the heart of The Strip, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is the city’s newest luxury resort. Featuring oversized rooms and luxurious amenities, the resort also boasts an eclectic lineup of retailers. Among the mix is SKINS 6|2 COSMETICS, a high-end beauty boutique.

Although a new venture, the store’s concept harkens back to a sister company previously opened in Europe. The owners were approached at Cosmoprof Bologna by resort executives who were looking for a unique boutique that would pique the interest of its upscale clientele.

SKINS 6|2 COSMETICS offers customers an open and flexible floor plan, unparalleled customer service and niche brands that tell a story. It promises to provide accessible luxuries affordable to the types of consumers who shop at stores like Neiman Marcus.

“Cosmetics are a billion-dollar industry now. People can be so bombarded with information that it can be overwhelming. We keep it simple, and not overwhelming,” says Marie Poelmans, co-founder.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Statistics show that it’s a good time to be in the business of luxury. Global luxury retailing is expanding by double-digits, according to a November 2011 report from Verdict Research.

While Europe is predicted to remain the largest region for luxury goods consumption until 2015, the Asia Pacific region is quickly encroaching. During 2010, Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) overtook the Americas for the first time as the second-largest luxury goods market. The report also notes that spending on branded luxury goods is forecast to increase by nearly 65% between 2010 and 2015.

LUXURY BRANDS

While the concept of luxury is in demand, it may be harder to put a finger on what luxury means from a tangible perspective. No matter what the product, luxury brands share some common characteristics.

“Prestige customers look for brand recognition or quality products,” explains Jamion Blackwell, founder of Mojo Cosmetics & Design, a branding and design consultancy that also distributes its own boutique beauty brand. “They will look for details and nuances not typically found in most brands. Prestige customers tend to be brand loyal, while mass-market customers tend to bounce from one brand to the next,” he adds.

[Image courtesy of SKINS 6|2 COSMETICS]