The Beauty of Retail

I was recently reading an article published on where Katy Welsh, ICSC Conference Committee Chair and Colliers International South Florida’s Senior Vice President of Retail Leasing Services, was interviewed on the Top 5 Retail Sectors projected to grow in the next five years.
Generating X with Generation X in Commercial Real Estate

What stuck out most to me was the projected growth in the beauty industry. A couple of take away points from this article and supplemental research that I found to be highly interesting were:

  • In 2016 brick-and-mortar stores played some role in 95% of all US Retail sales
  • Spending in the beauty industry is expected to grow by almost 32%
  • The beauty industry is one of the best places for a female entrepreneur to build and sell a business, according to an article published on

The most responsible source driving the growth of the beauty industry, is social media. With multiple sources of media, consumers can find out anything about any product. Anyone can watch actual application of products on a YouTube or Instagram videos. Through influencers, they can explore fun new ways to wear a color or product. They can find reviews in the comments and learn if the product’s claims will match the results. Finally, they may visit a brick-and-mortar location to try out different shades before ever needing to commit to the purchase.

In addition to the number of women (and men) in the industry from every back ground, race and religion, the fun and creative ways people can alter their look is turning the industry into a creative outlet for self-expression. Interestingly though, the paradox of this industry is that it is growing from exposure of the internet, but the brick and mortar remain internet proof. If you want your hair color done right, going to the salon will always be the safest bet. I’ve attempted DIY gel painted nails, and that will never happen again, and no picture on my phone will ever compare to seeing a shade of blue eyeliner against my skin.

It is industries like this that make me confident in the strength of the retail real estate market.

When people tout the “the death of retail” because malls aren’t thriving, they miss the vision of the growth of something new.

Companies and industries like people are innovative and the new vacancies are freeing the economy for growth in unique ways that are matching the mindset of new demographics. It will be interesting to watch the how the beauty industry’s growth over the next several years shapes the retail real estate market.

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