ECRM Buyer Q&A: Beauty Collection's Maria Rush  9/22/2015

Beauty Collection is a prestige beauty retailer with five stores in Southern California that provides solutions for its clients in every category across several price points, featuring brands ranging from from masstige to prestige. It aims to provide service that is backed with education in the retail environment. 

Maria Rush, VP of Business Development for Beauty Collection, and her daughter (and administrative assistant) Dominique Rush attended ECRM’s Skin, Cosmetics, Bath and Fragrances event in Atlanta this past summer. Following is a Q&A with Maria.

Describe the demographics of your stores’ shoppers? Do they vary from store to store?
Demographics varies on location, but our core clients are women ages 35 to 55.

Do you develop store-specific assortments to address the local market needs? 
Yes, each location represents approximately 75 percent of our top selling brands and the remaining inventory is curated based on customer demand. We look for products that deliver a solution and fill the white space.

What trends are you seeing in the following areas of beauty:

- Skin, Bath & Cosmetics
For skin care products there is increasing demand in natural products crossing all price points. In bath, shoppers are looking for whimsical and fun products, with a stronger focus in the youth category. It is making an entry into beauty. Multi-use products and bold colors are what consumers want in cosmetics.

- Hair Care
Anti-aging and hair loss continue to grow and shoppers are demanding a greater assortment of products in this area, which has led to a larger footprint, both in store and online.

- Multicultural Hair Care & HBC
We’re finding that there is less focus on Multicultural, per se, and more of a focus on solutions for hair with texture.

-International beauty products
There are many brands that are out there in other countries that are popular among our shoppers, so we strive to find these products and make them available for them.

What challenges do you face in your business?
Technology has helped grow business in so many ways, but on the other hand takes customers from coming to shop in locations because of how easily accessible products are online. The challenge is how to keep your customers loyal and how to attract new customers to keep your business viable.

Do you host any customer-related events?
Absolutely. Events are part of our company’s DNA. As a company we host quarterly, multivendor branded events during which our brand partners provide services, consultations, gifts with purchase and promotional offers. In addition to these events, each store hosts facial events, makeovers, hair analysis and consultations throughout the year. Our regular customers look forward to these and invite their friends and families.

What value have you received from attending ECRM events? 
At the recent ECRM Skin, Bath, Cosmetics and Fragrances event we were able to meet new vendors and launch/add new brands to our portfolio. We learned a lot about the chain retail industry in relation to professional beauty, which is almost like learning a second language. One great experience we had at the event was earning a private label opportunity with Wonder Sponge. The owner Al has been a phenomenal resource and has genuine passion for beauty that I admire and respect.

[Additional quote from Dominique Rush]: As a first timer going to ECRM, I can say that this experience was a blast. Being able to see the other side of business as well as learning so much from companies and their expectations has really set a better platform for me. I did not expect to meet so many personalities and learn so much about the expectations that companies have, for this I really appreciate ECRM for involving our company. It was one of the most educating experiences that I have had in the industry.

Register for ECRM's upcoming beauty events:

Exterior Store Shot
Each Beauty Collection store has a very upscale look to showcase its prestige beauty products
The skin care department at a Beauty Collection store
From left: Maria Rush and Dominique Rush of Beauty Collection at ECRM's Skin, Bath, Cosmetics & Fragrances event.

Joseph Tarnowski

VP Content

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