Whole Foods Market has been selling beauty products since it was founded in 1980 in its 500 doors, but as clean beauty and wellness have become mainstream, the Amazon-owned grocery store and market wants to be known as a beauty destination.
Tasked with this goal is Jen Coccaro, director of merchandising for Whole Body, the beauty and wellness sector of the company. Coccaro, who has been with the company since 2017, has been focused on not only educating current Whole Foods shoppers, who are health-conscious and between 22 and 40 years old, about its beauty offerings, but also recruiting new brands to prioritize Whole Foods as a distributor and partner. Still, Whole Foods’ in-store revenue has largely stayed flat since being fully integrated into the Amazon fold in 2018, according to the company’s most recent earnings in April.
Coccaro sat down with Glossy to talk about the trend of clean beauty, Amazon’s relationship with the company and its loan program for small brands.
What is Whole Foods doing to elevate its position itself as a clean beauty retailer?
What’s a trend today is who we have always been — we’ve been carrying clean beauty for 30 years, but we are somewhat of a best-kept secret in that space. What we are trying to do now is be more engaged in the industry, make our customer more aware of us and that we have clean beauty products and full solutions to wellness. We are in a unique position in terms of our scale and position in the industry to be able to educate people about our products and ingredients. For example, in March, we did a beauty swap campaign where we told customers, ‘Come in and trade out your existing beauty products for clean beauty products.’ We gave [1,000] free beauty bags away with trial sizes of products to encourage people to engage with us. Read more