EAST SETAUKET, N.Y. -- A new supermarket format is drawing consumers to higher priced health and beauty care items. Customers are embracing a variety of upscale health and beauty care items sold at the new Wild by Nature Market, according to Bruce Perlstein, a founder of the 18,000-square-foot health food supermarket that is a King Kullen subsidiary. Health and beauty care products -- some averaging 48% profit margins -- and upscale home housewares are contributing 12% to total store sales at the store. Cosmetics sales "started kicking in after a round of product sampling and manufacturer demonstrations," said Graysha Perlstein, a member of Wild By Nature's management development group, who also serves as manager, nonfood, at the store.
Wild by Nature, which opened last November offering a variety of natural products, identifies HBC as personal care. The personal care section carries cosmetics and other HBC products imported from Europe, Australia and other parts of the world. Along with cosmetics, categories include hair care, vitamins, homeopathics, bath and body, and housewares. The HBC assortment is free of unnatural chemicals, artificial colors, additives and mineral oil. It includes non-toxic hair colors from Italy and Germany, and products that have not been tested on animals, said Perlstein.
Those shopping the personal care section are mostly students, housewives and working women in their 30s and 40s. It also appeals to male customers, Perlstein added.
The store positions personal care to the left of produce and floral on a 30-ft.-by-72-in.-high gondola with eight shelf tiers. The products are supplied to the store on a direct-store delivery basis.
Personal care covers body and bath products, natural deodorants and toothpaste, hair care, natural bristle toothbrushes, hair and skin brushes, and men's and baby items. Retails range from $2.50 to $50, she said.
Vitamins are arranged on a 40-foot gondola. Another 24 feet of gondola fixturing is devoted to herbal apothecaries, homeopathics and herbal teas.
Upscale cosmetics and skin care treatments with up to $250 price points are merchandised from an octagon showcase with 3.5-foot panels.
"The showcase is similar to those found at upscale exclusive department stores like Bloomingdale's and Macy's," said Perlstein. Cosmetics merchandised from the showcase can either be purchased individually, for about $15, or by the line, most of which sell from about $150 to $250. Most customers purchase entire cosmetic lines, Perlstein said. Among the best sellers are the Jurlique skin care line from Australia, which retails at $18 to $55 per item; and the Dr. Hauschaka skin care line, $15 to $45 per item, Perlstein said. The department also offers housewares on an adjoining 8-ft. gondola. General merchandise includes soap dishes, books on personal care, toothbrush holders, journals, aromatherapy candles and boxes for storing oils.