Home' Border Enterprise : Winter-Spring 2010 Contents 41
Small Business is our Passion
At MKM Accounting, clients don't get pushed from
per son to person like in some bigger fi rms.
Our friendly specialist team of accountants provide
quality solutions for your business, personally!
...you always get to speak
with your accountant...
1st Floor, Cnr Dean & Elizabeth Streets Albury NSW P: 02 6021 8755
Always be open to fresh
ways to diversify, writes
MANY people believe
minding your own
business is a good way to
operate your private life.
In business, putting your
nose in other people's can be a better way to go.
It's common, when starting your own business,
to think you are selling a particular thing. After
all, that's what it says on your business plan. But
it may turn out differently.
In consulting, for example, you normally start
with specialised expertise but if you have good
problem-solving skills you can end up with some
unexpected clients, dealing with all sorts of
issues outside your chosen field.
Retailing provides many examples. You begin
by selling clothes or DVDs, then realise you can
branch out into new merchandise and service lines.
Distinctions have long been blurring between
what one specialty retailer sells and what
another sells, even when they start out in
separate categories. This is to the detriment of
retailers that start out selling everything, such as
Nowhere is this more evident than in prestige
There hasn't been that much for department
stores around the world to be cheerful about
recently, as they continue to bleed market share
to their specialty competitors.
But their ace in the hole, one of their few
remaining areas of dominance --- the beauty
floor --- was their fiefdom. Now, the assault on
their pride and joy from the specialty sector
is becoming the retail industry's equivalent of
For several international apparel retailers,
rocked by weak clothing sales during the
downturn, beauty product sales are now 5 per
cent or more of total store sales.
While many are experimenting with a
sampling of products, some have introduced
comprehensive proprietary beauty lines selling
at highly attractive prices compared with the
department store product.
Specialty apparel stores are being joined
by discount and drug stores, some of which
are carving out significant aisle space for
higher-end beauty products by eliminating
For example, in the US, drug store chain
CVS is expanding an upscale concept called
Beauty 360, which involves retrofitting space for
prestige beauty products in existing stores or
opening new areas. It plans to have 30 by the
end of the year and 80 by the end of next year.
Likewise, New York drug store chain Duane
Reade has introduced a concept it calls Look
Boutique, an upscale beauty space that includes
counters carrying fragrances normally sold in
These moves coincide with experiments selling
beauty products through non-store channels.
Recent initiatives by The Body Shop, owned
by L'Oreal, and LVMH's Sephora, bring beauty
products to the customer through one such
channel - the humble vending machine.
The Body Shop will have vending machines
in US supermarkets, as well as in airports and
Meanwhile, Sephora has put vending
machines in the Paris Metro and several US
airports on a trial basis.
The message to small businesses should be
clear: consumers no longer care where they
buy a desirable item or service. If you make it
convenient, fun and cool enough, you may be
able to operate in a lot more businesses than
the one in which you originally siloed yourself.
Michael Baker. Michael Baker is a global retail
and property analyst and consultant. He can be
contacted at mbakerconsult @gmail.com or at
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