Wal-Mart to offer "Hard Candy" to woo high-end shoppers

Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:42pm EDT
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By Chavon Sutton and Nicole Maestri

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is rolling out a new line of cosmetics by Hard Candy, hoping to dazzle shoppers with glitter eye shadow and volumizing mascara by a brand that is sold at more upscale retailers, like Sephora.

At a launch event held on Tuesday in the penthouse suite of Manhattan's trendy Bryant Park Hotel, Wal-Mart showcased the line, which will be introduced in 3,000 of its U.S. stores in September. It will be rolled out internationally next spring.

The new line is being made specifically for Wal-Mart.

The cosmetics will range in price from $5 to $10, or $6.40 on average, and are designed to appeal to 18- to 35-year-old women who are looking to have fun with their makeup.

"The more bells and whistles, the more excited our customer will be," said Carmen Bauza, vice president of beauty for Wal-Mart.


Wal-Mart has said it is attracting higher-income shoppers to its stores as recession pressures household budgets and consumers adopt a frugal mind-set.

But investors have questioned its ability to keep those shoppers once the economy improves and customers have more money to spend. Wal-Mart has been adamant that it will retain those new shoppers and plans to do so by introducing new product lines, like Hard Candy.   Continued...

<p>Bottles of Hard Candy nail polish are displayed in Wal-Mart in New York August 18, 2009. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>