If You Shop at Walmart, Prepare for This Big Change at 3,900 Locations
The big-box retailer is making major moves in a popular retail space.
Millions of shoppers gravitate to Walmart because they know exactly what they can expect from the company: For decades, the big-box retailer has been offering low prices and a large selection of products at its stores. By the end of April, Walmart had expanded its reach to more than 5,000 retail locations across the U.S. Now, the company is shaking things up with an exciting change that will affect a huge number of those stores. Read on to find out what Walmart is doing at 3,900 locations.
Walmart has made several changes to its stores recently.
Despite the familiarity Walmart is known for, the company has shown plenty of willingness to adapt its retail model here and there—especially when it improves the shopper experience. In Feb. 2022, Walmart confirmed that it would be creating around 100 automated fulfillment centers over the next few years to help build a bigger and more flexible delivery center.
And just this month, Charles Redfield, Walmart's chief merchandising officer, told CNBC that the company is planning to open up dozens of redesigned locations by the end of Jan. 2023 following the success it found when testing out new strategies to attract shoppers at a redesigned SuperCenter in Springdale, Arkansas.
The company is now bringing a new change to thousands of stores.
Walmart is getting ready to bring a new contender to its main skin care aisle. Bubble Skin Care will battle well-known competitors like Neutrogena, CeraVe, and Cetaphil directly in 3,900 stores, Forbes reported. Shai Eisenman, the founder of Bubble, told the magazine that the company is launching four new products at Walmart this summer.
Bubble, which launched in Nov. 2020, is a skin care brand that is directly targeted at Gen Z consumers with vegan, cruelty-free, and general-neutral products that can create an affordable and simple skin care routine, according to Eisenman. The founder told Forbes that the brand's products took more than two years to develop among Bubble's team, with help from research with more than 10,000 teens.
"Even though young consumers are the most advanced generation that ever existed, when it comes to skin care, they use the same old school stuff that I used as a teen and my mom used as a teen," Eisenman said. "If you look at consumers today, 80 percent of Gen Z'ers use Neutrogena, Cetaphil, CeraVe, Clean and Clear, and Clinique—brands that they're not emotionally connected to and don't love and aren't excited about."
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Bubble was introduced to Walmart stores last year.
This isn't Bubble's first time being sold at Walmart. The teen-focused skin care brand was actually introduced in some stores and on the retailer's website last July as part of Walmart's Trending Now section—which was specifically created for indie brand launches, Forbes explained. At the time, Bubble debuted at Walmart with seven products, including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and a face mask, per Women's Wear Daily.
"We had an opportunity to be in a lot of other retailers and be in the full chains of most of the major ones," Eisenman told Forbes. But the founder said the company chose an exclusive launch with Walmart after its research revealed that more than 40 percent of Gen Z consumers go to Walmart three to four times a month, and 20 percent of personal care products purchased in the U.S. are bought at this retailer.
While Bubble's "full year of exclusivity" with Walmart ends in July, Eisenman told Forbes that the company is "really excited" to be expanding and moving to Walmart's main skin care aisle this year. This change comes after Bubble won the retailer's Supplier of the Year award in March 2022, which is the first for any brand that had been sold at the Walmart for less than a year, according to Forbes.
The brand was initially launched as a direct-to-consumer brand.
When Bubble Skin Care first launched in Nov. 2020, it was strictly a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand. "We're the first DTC brand that's launched exclusively at Walmart," Eisenman told Forbes.
This strategy—which allows businesses to sell their own products directly to consumers without the help of third-party wholesalers or retailers—is still rising in popularity but comes with challenges, according to Big Commerce. "When we launched DTC only, we were shocked to learn 58 percent of Gen Z'ers shop for skin care at big-box retailers, and only 20 percent of them shop for skin care online," Eisenman said.
More than 90 percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart, which is a "huge deal" in terms of accessibility for Bubble's products, Eisenman noted in a 2o21 interview with the retailer. "We've known since launch that buying online is a challenge for people, whether they didn't have their own credit card or because their parents didn't trust an online-only brand they hadn't heard of," she said. "Being in Walmart stores really makes the product more inclusive and accessible."