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Beauty Shop-in-Shop in a Department Store

A Shop-in-Shop Success Story

When a huge U.S. department store chain announced their exciting partnership with a prestige beauty retailer in 2020, they had lots of obstacles to overcome to achieve their goal of installing hundreds of shops-in-shop by 2023. Colony Display jumped in with both feet, making sense of the existing engineering package and developing and prototyping our own fixture package.

Read on to learn how Colony Display helped to enhance the relationship between these powerhouse retailers, all while navigating everything from an extremely tight rollout timeline to supply chain issues.

About the Retailers

The largest department store chain in the U.S. partnered with a premium beauty and makeup retailer in late 2020 to offer shoppers easier access to prestige brands. Their goal? Open 850+ shop-in-shops (or stores-within-a-store) in just 36 months: 200 stores in 2021, 400 stores in 2022 and 250 stores in 2023.

The Challenge

The retailers wanted to launch the initial rollout (200 stores) within just 12 weeks. They also needed to find ways to divide the program up to allow for a consistent quote, a split of vendors, and reduced risk for compatibility issues between incumbent fixtures and suppliers.

With the clock ticking—and armed with little information—Colony Display started unpacking the existing engineering package to decipher the needs moving forward.

Our Solution

From a program that started with 100+ SKUs, Colony Display was able to present a critical fixture package . In a 12-week period we were able to:

  • Break down the existing engineering package
  • Quote 200 stores
  • Develop our own internal engineering package
  • Prototype
  • Release production for 50+ SKUs for the initial 200-store rollout

We built off the Year 1 rollout of 200 stores and increased our footprint and SKU count for the Year 2’s run of 400 stores.

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The Results

Colony Display worked closely with both retailers’ teams, as well as other vendors and suppliers, to make sense of a complicated program. And even with uncertainties in regards to the supply chain and ocean freight timing, we were still able to develop a plan that ensured on-time delivery without sacrificing quality or service.

In the end, we created a complete fixture package that worked well for everyone, including the other suppliers that were involved with the development of this program.

Here is a breakdown of the fixture packages we completed, and ones yet to come:

  • Year 1 (2021) – Completed packages for 200 stores in 10 weeks (20 stores/week)
  • Year 2 (2022) – Completed packages for 400 stores in 16 weeks (25 stores/week)
  • Year 3 (2023) – The goal is another 250 stores!

We also provided installation services, picking up the pieces when another fixture installer stumbled out of the gates:

  • Year 1 (2021) – 35 stores
  • Year 2 (2022) – 100 stores

Prior to this shop-in-shop setup, there wasn’t much crossover between shoppers at the two retailers. Now, the department store has an entirely new customer base, and the beauty retailer’s shoppers benefit from the loyalty programs, products and convenience offered by the department store.

We’re proud to partner with both of these retailers to elevate their dynamic partnership.

Expanding Our Reach to Standalone Beauty Stores

The beauty retailer was so impressed with the speed, efficiency and quality of Colony Display’s work that they asked us to be part of their RFQ process for fixture packages for their standalone stores.

Before we got involved, they had a single supplier for all of their fixture needs. The challenge was how to break down the RFQ to find fixture packages that fit each vendor’s strength.

We had just six weeks to develop, engineer, prototype and deliver prototypes. We ended up winning the business, growing the size of our fixture package slowly to allow for success. Colony now produces the entire perimeter fixture package, beauty studios and a handful of free-standing fixtures.

We completed the following for standalone beauty stores:

Some of the benefits this retailer has seen from working with Colony Display include:

  • Significant Cost Savings  We took on fixtures previously designed by other vendors and improved upon them through our value-engineering and manufacturing efficiencies, resulting in substantial cost savings and a cleaner fixture package.
  • Expert Guidance – The process of going from a single-source supplier to having multiple vendors supplying fixtures is complicated, and we've been able to help make the transition smooth.
  • Improved Quality & Efficiency – We introduced the idea of shipping pre-built fixtures to cut down on packaging, waste, labor and installation costs, all while improving quality.

We have developed a strong partnership with this exciting retailer and hope to provide them with support for years to come.

Retail fixtures are our bread and butter. If you’re a brand or retailer interested in improving the consumer experience and streamlining the fixture design and installation process, contact us today!