Over the previous 21 years, Jo Horgan has constructed Mecca Cosmetica right into a magnificence wonderland — and powerhouse. It’s now Australia and New Zealand’s largest status magnificence retailer, with greater than 100 shops and a booming dot-com enterprise, however she’s not stopping there.
Resilience and agility are a part of Mecca’s strengths. Within 24 hours of lockdown, on-line consultations had been established and communication contact factors skewed towards digital. Sixty p.c of the retailer’s pre-COVID-19 enterprise migrated on-line, and inside a month it was 80 p.c.
“When you consider we were only doing 15 percent of our business online prior to COVID-19, it was an incredible shift,” stated Horgan, talking with Jenny B. Fine, govt editor, magnificence, WWD and Beauty Inc.
Mecca ensured its staff monetary assist, caught with its fee phrases for its manufacturers and shifted its training program to the digital realm, with greater than 120,000 hours logged.
The technique labored. “We maintained our customer-employee satisfaction rating of 77 percent,” stated Horgan.
“The upshot of all this was that we had positive sales year-on-year for 10 out of the 12 months last year, and we ended  up plus 10 percent, versus an industry as a whole which was down 8 percent,” stated Hogan.
Moreover, such outcomes had been achieved with out discounting.
Although Mecca’s shops had been closed for a short time, Horgan nonetheless believes within the retail expertise. “Brick-and-mortar truly is alive and kicking,” she stated. “Footfall levels are actually returning to pre-lockdown levels. It’s clear that customers are wanting this human touch and physical experiences.”
For Horgan, development lies in mixing digital and bodily retail in compelling methods. “The real question becomes: How do we truly innovate?” she stated. “How do we provide that unique Mecca customer experience online, the same way we do in store? That for us is going to be the game-changer.”
In Sydney final November, smack in the midst of the pandemic, Mecca opened its largest retailer. At 19,275-square-feet, it’s additionally the southern hemisphere’s greatest magnificence vendor. Thirty-five p.c of the three-story area is devoted to providers. These embody “first-class airline seats” for mini facials, plus providers associated to injectables, fertility, ear piercing, hair, diet and brows.
“We are trying to redefine what beauty means,” stated Horgan, noting that providers generate greater than 20 p.c of the flagship’s gross sales. She described providers as a “key unlocker” to the way forward for brick-and-mortar retail, as they translate into elevated visitors and better gross sales. “Our occupancy rate is 88 percent to date, which when you consider how many services we’re offering is extraordinary.”
Some of the flagship’s providers can be rolled out elsewhere, such because the facial pods, whereas grasp lessons with founders like Gwyneth Paltrow and Gucci Westman are livestreamed to different shops, for example.
Meanwhile, serving to develop manufacturers stays key at Mecca. “Having brand exclusivity isn’t enough. It’s what you do with the brand that matters,” stated Horgan.
Mecca manages every facet of an unique model, from delivery to distribution, training and advertising and marketing, a mannequin Horgan maintained is extra legitimate than ever. “It provides certainty for brands, customers and us as a business,” she stated.
She famous that NARS Cosmetics, a Mecca unique for 23 years, is Australia’s second-largest status magnificence model, however that the mannequin works for rising names, too. “We have new brands who are coming into the market and have immediate access to 25 percent market share, a full supportive model because of this exclusivity,” stated Horgan. “They could never get that customer another way.”
A whole lot of runway stays left for Mecca in Australia and New Zealand, she maintained, whereas sights are being set overseas.
Mecca lately entered Tmall Global in China, and the query now’s whether or not the retailer expands into brick-and-mortar in such a rustic.
“Or do we say: ‘We’re also number one in Australia online, and is there opportunity for us to explore different markets digitally first?’” mused Horgan. “The world’s a big place.”
For extra, see:
Mecca Brands Opens Its Largest Australasian Store in Sydney
Australia’s Mecca Brands Launching Chinese Flagship With Tmall Global
Temperature Checks and Face Shields: Mecca Brands’ New Normal