T&T Supermarket plans to own the Asian “cosmeceutical” market and its first step is the July 4 launch of its brand Be Beauty at the Metrotown store in Burnaby, B.C.
The beauty concept store, which includes the chain’s first pharmacy, is a brightly lit section with clearly marked sections such as “skin care,” “hair care,” and “body care,” and staffed by health and beauty professionals.
While there are mainstream toothpastes and shampoos, the store’s more than 1,000 products are overwhelmingly Asian, and mostly devoted to skin care–an area where Asian women outspend their western counterparts.
Over at the pharmacy section, which is stocked with English, Cantonese and Mandarin speakers, is an aisle dedicated to traditional Chinese medicine, offering to “relieve toothache,” “clear lungs,” or offer a cure for a urinary infection, next to bilingual feature cards with instructions for use.
Sandra Creighton, senior marketing manager, said the store’s core customer is an Asian immigrant looking for products from home.
“We are bridging Western medicine with an Asian beauty concept,” she said. “Lots of our customers are currently going to [traditional drugstores] but can’t find their products or read the instructions.”
Creighton said T&T plans to add the Be Beauty concept to other larger stores in the chain.