Bluemercury Founder Beck exposes Macy's growth strategy


Bluemercury was acquired by Macy's in February this year

Barry Beck, the Founder of Bluemercury which was taken over by Macy's in February this year, has revealed that Macy's intends to use Bluemercury's ‘exceptional’ business model as a springboard for growth and innovation. To do this, Macy's plans to open Bluemercury shops inside its stores, in a similar way to how JC Penney has rolled-out Sephora stores within its own locations.

Back in March this year, Macy’s paid $210m for Bluemercury and now plans to open the company’s shops inside its stores. Beck said he thinks there could be as many as 300 Bluemercury stores nationwide eventually, many of them setting up shop in Macy’s 800-store network. “I believe that ultimately you’re going to have to have retail stores,” he said. “Because with the continued innovation of the internet, clients are going to demand more service, more information and more ways to shop.”

However, Bluemercury confirmed that Macy's has no interest in imitating Sephora or Ulta's models. Speaking at the 30th annual Retailing Summit in Dallas, Texas, Beck said: “We have a unique and exceptional business model that competitors have been unable to replicate. Everything that we do is focused on being the friendly, neighbourhood store where you can get expert honest advice.” Bluemercury sees retail as personal and emotional, and picks products and brands that strike a chord with its customers, explained Beck. “We don’t focus on competitors, we focus on our customers,” he said.

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But what are the company’s key strategies for success? Threefold, Beck revealed. The first is people, with stores staffed by friendly, well-paid full-time "real-life beauty junkies", Beck noted. “If our people solve problems for clients, they will be customers for life.” Next comes product, with a key focus on development. Newness is important, added Beck, and launching new products drives traffic. And finally comes place, with the company’s policy of targeting busy streets and lifestyle centres. “We have built convenience for our customers and had no cannibalisation of sales,” he said.