Amazon opens new luxury store for high-end beauty brands

Amazon opens new luxury store for high-end beauty brands

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Amazon is making a bigger bet on luxury beauty. Today, Dr Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics will go live on Amazon’s Luxury Stores, marking the first high-end skincare in addition to the app-only storefront dedicated to premium brands.

The German-owned line is offering a range of over 50 products on the platform, with more brands slated to follow in the coming months. Dr Sturm’s line is also sold at high-end retailers such as Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue and Space NK, as well as direct-to-consumer on the brand’s website.

Dr Barbara Sturm is launching on Amazon Luxury Stores.

Photo: Courtesy of Dr Barbara Sturm

Amazon Luxury Stores launched in the US in September 2020, carrying premium fashion brands and targeting a more affluent customer. It was rolled out to Europe in June 2022, including brands such as Elie Saab and Christopher Kane. Now, the Luxury Stores space will carry beauty and skincare alongside fashion in both markets. According to a spokesperson for the company, the new beauty section of Luxury Stores at Amazon will carry a range of both “established and emerging luxury brands”, and will serve as a complement to the existing Premium Beauty selection, which stocks more widely available masstige brands.

Amazon’s spokesperson said the move to add beauty came from consumer demand in Europe, and that they would be offering “tools and a synergistic environment” to help luxury brands grow on the platform. The resistance of many premium and luxury brands to join online marketplaces has been the lack of personalization available to brand landing pages – generally speaking, all brands will have a page with the same color scheme and font, and will not be able to add much in the way of bespoke brand assets. Amazon claims this may change with Luxury Stores, saying an “elevated experience” will be underway, including enhanced autoplay imagery and in-motion graphics. Brands will still be independently responsible for inventory, selection and pricing.

Beauty, especially premium beauty, is a lucrative market. According to the market research firm NPD Group, sales of prestige beauty products increased 23 per cent in the first six months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. The group attributes much of this dynamism to the popularity of more potent, science-backed formulas, also noting that consumers are upgrading their purchases to those with a higher price point across a number of categories, including foundations and fragrances. In the UK alone, the prestige beauty market was valued at £926 million in the first half of 2022, per NPD. Skincare has been an especially resilient category throughout the pandemic, and beauty tends to be recession-proof, with many consumers still continuing to treat themselves to cosmetics as means of a mood boost in difficult times.

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