Refreshed COVERGIRL Is Ready For Retail’s Primetime


COVERGIRL New York Times Square retail concept design

The recently relaunched COVERGIRL brand will open its first-ever beauty destination, a flagship store in the heart of New York City’s Times Square. For the first time in its nearly 60 years, the brand is getting a standalone store. Its brick-and-mortar retail debut will be an experiential interpretation of the new brand’s “I Am What I Make Up” philosophy, inspiring shoppers to use makeup as a tool for self-expression and personal transformation.

Moving into a 10,000 square-foot space at the corner of 7th Avenue and 48th Street, the new store will open its doors in the third quarter of this year to the estimated 26 million New Yorkers and visitors who head to Times Square each year.

The design and vision for the prime corner real estate location will reflect the dynamic, energetic neighborhood. There will be an experiential beauty “play room” with interactive elements, for example, along with full-service makeup application, on-the-go services, digital experiences and “exclusive innovation.”

The store opening is part of the brand’s strategic overhaul to revamp how beauty lovers experience COVERGIRL. Last October parent Coty Inc. retired the brand’s “easy, breezy, beautiful” tagline in favor of the more modern and empowering “I Am What I Make Up.”

Its diverse line of brand ambassadors includes Issa Rae, Ayesha Curry, Katy Perry, Maye Musk (Elon’s mother), fitness trainer Massy Arias and professional motorcycle racer Shelina Moreda.

“It is our mission to show up for people wherever they are on their beauty journey and offer them innovation and experiences that inspire them to become whatever version of themselves they want to be in the moment,” stated Ukonwa Ojo, Coty’s SVP for the COVERGIRL brand.

“At COVERGIRL, we believe that makeup is a powerful tool for creativity and self-expression. Opening a concept store will help bring this brand purpose to life in an immersive, elevated and multidimensional way,” she added.

While Glossier just opened a second showroom in Los Angeles, where Sephora is opening its first experiential pop-up this fall, COVERGIRL’s retail expansion will mark the first mass legacy beauty brand to launch a direct-to-consumer flagship store in North America. Beauty stores in general, such as Sephora and Ulta, have proved more resilient in weathering the downturn in North America’s brick-and-mortar retail sector.

Coty also owns other major cosmetics brands, including Max Factor, Rimmel, Sally Hansen, Clairol and OPI Products, and it produces fragrances for Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Calvin Klein, adidas and Gucci, which last month opened its first beauty boutique—inside the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship store in NYC.

According to the property’s owner, SL Green, the perfume, haircare and makeup giant has signed a 10-year, 10,040-square-foot lease for the entirety of the multi-level property at 719 Seventh Avenue, also known as 30 Times Square. The 104-year-old conglomerate also leased all 5,800 square feet of LED billboard signage on the building, which faces the M&M’S World flagship.

COVERGIRL is by no means a Times Square newcomer. The brand co-sponsored New York City’s 2015 New Years Eve event, taking over eight billboards to promote its “Colorlicious” line of lipsticks in a #ColorfulCountdown campaign.

The deal is also welcome news for Times Square as New York battles a glut of empty retail spaces it needs to fill. “As the retail world evolves, Times Square has transformed, delivering state-of-the-art customer experiences, high sales volumes, social media engagement and global marketability, all of which are highly desirable in the current retail landscape,” stated Brett Hershfeld of SL Green.