Say hello to… eXPD8 beauty

eXPD8 beauty is the new name for our reshaped, improved and expanded retail support service, focused solely on supporting beauty and cosmetics brands and retailers across the UK

We recognised that there is significant growth opportunity in the beauty and health categories, which has led to the launch of eXPD8 beauty. Having worked across the category for a number of years, we already have an established footing in the category via the work we undertake within Tesco, M&S and directly for a number of the key brands. Of course, the category is undergoing significant change, escalated by the recent pandemic and the seismic change in retail shopping habits. Change is not just happening online but also in physical stores. Trading is more aggressive, competitive and now more than ever, it is imperative that brands maintain the best possible display standards, availability and visibility. That’s were eXPD8 beauty can help.

The introduction of eXPD8 beauty enables us to signal a significant step forward in our approach and service. It enables us to showcase what we do and who we are, and provide a recognisable solution that both retailers and brands can associate with exceptional service and consistent delivery.

In order to drive recognition of what we do within the category, and as a means of creating an identity which can be promoted internally and externally, we have created the brand eXPD8 beauty, which has its own style and colourways. The brand will be used in all communications going forward and will be enforced in everything we do, including external marketing and social media and via a new website page. Created exclusively for eXPD8 beauty, this will be used as a showcase for all we are doing within the category, going forward.

Delivering flawless execution, first time… every time

What are the aspirations for eXPD8 beauty?

Our aspiration is to become the preferred supplier of merchandising and support services in the beauty industry, for both brands and retailers. It’s that simple. Our unique business model ensures that we have a high density of localised but dedicated colleagues, available to provide support and assistance in all locations. The workforce is agile by nature, so can be mobilised quickly and of course redirected elsewhere when not needed.

Eventually, we would like to think that retailers and brands utilise us because of the trust and confidence that they have in our abilities, as well as our proven results.

What does eXPD8 beauty stand for?

Executional excellence, consistency, transparency and a collaborative working style. I think this encompasses the brand.

What are the key challenges that beauty brands face?

Without a doubt the key challenges have changed considerably within the last 18 months. The category has always been and will continue to be fast-paced and ever-evolving, driven not only by fashion trends but also by environmental concerns, issues around sustainability, evolving routes to markets, physical retail space changes as well as online and social media exposure.

There are a host of new niche brands entering the market, focused on narrow segments of the category. These new entrants are quickly established and in demand due to the extensive online and social media exposure, which then translate into physical retail demand.

Therefore, it is imperative that brands remain agile, are able to innovate at pace, and have robust mechanisms and support partners who are capable of quality implementation.

eXPD8 beauty’s robust technology layer ensures maximum compliance

Why should brands and retailers choose eXPD8 beauty?

Clients should choose eXPD8 beauty in order to have confidence that their chosen provider will work with them to deliver the best possible outcome first time… every time. The level of expertise we bring, coupled with the agile nature of our workforce will always provide them with the best possible solution at the best possible cost. eXPD8 beauty is effective not just because of the tangible, positive impact on compliance but also because we fundamentally reduce costs – maximising return on investment.

We deliver a 1st class service that drives sales, leverages our highly skilled field colleagues and Central Office expertise. eXPD8 beauty is about building collaborative relationships with all stakeholders and standardising processes through a consolidated model, in order to deliver efficiencies.

We recognise that if we are to continue to grow our presence in the category we need to further invest in our people, and ensure we provide all the necessary tools, required to support our success. We are therefore undertaking a major development and improvement program solely focused on beauty. The program which commenced in May 21 will last for 3 years, with each year having a specific focus.

A key step in our program is the introduction of a structured learning program, which is aligned to the specific tasks required to support the beauty brands in store. At the same time, we have decided to enhance the hourly rate we will pay Beauty Display Merchandisers for all beauty hours they complete, after they have undertaken their learning program successfully, and have been signed off by an auditor.

There are 3 specific levels of learning with each needing to be completed, assessed and signed off prior to completing the next.

eXPD8 beauty merchandisers are specialists in their field

Level 1 training will be undertaken by all Beauty Display Merchandisers

  • This will provide detailed training on all aspects of the core role of an beauty merchandiser
  • Focus will be given on all operational processes and procedures
  • All merchandisers who wish to work on beauty will have to undertake and pass their Level 1 training
  • Training will be delivered via eDUK8 (our online learning platform) and face-to-face
  • All merchandisers will be audited in their own store and their knowledge-checked
  • Merchandisers will be signed off as passed by the auditor 

Level 2 training will be undertaken by all Beauty Display Merchandisers (after they have passed Level 1 training)

  • This will provide detailed training on all aspects of a full range change across multiple brands
  • Focus on all operational processes, procedures and specific techniques required to complete a range change
  • All merchandisers in a Level 2 store for beauty will have to undertake and pass their Level 2 training
  • Training will be delivered via eDUK8 and face-to-face
  • All merchandisers will be audited in their own store and their knowledge checked
  • Merchandisers will be signed off as passed by the auditor 

All Level 2 Beauty Display Merchandisers will receive a 3% rate increase on passing their assessment

Level 3 training will be undertaken by all Beauty Display Merchandisers (after they have passed Level 2 training)

  • Detailed training on “how to train” others i.e. train the trainer sessions
  • Training on mentoring, supporting other colleagues
  • How to deal with and influence people – to give you greater confidence in dealing with senior store managers
  • Training will be given on time trials, new store set up etc.
  • Further product knowledge will be given via representatives of various brands
  • Training will be delivered via eDUK8 and face-to-face
  • All merchandisers will be audited in their own store and their knowledge checked
  • Merchandisers will be signed off as passed by the auditor 

All Level 3 Beauty Display Merchandisers will receive a further 2% rate increase on passing their assessment

Level 3 Beauty Display Merchandisers are an extension of your brand

In addition to working on our internal processes we are also working with the brands and the various retailers, to redefine the processes and procedures they need to put in place and work to in order to ensure we are briefed appropriately, on time and with all required information. This in turn will ensure the overall service is more effective and the planning is conducted in a timely manner.

We are setting out very clear SLAs with each of our clients and working to apply them going forward. We continually review progress each period and ensure we deliver agreed service levels. At the same time, we are working with the clients to develop additional services we can support them with, in order to improve overall performance.

Please reach out to our beauty team on hello@expd8.co.uk or use our contact page to learn more. We look forward to exceeding your expectations, by delivering flawless execution, first time… every time.

Mark Thurgood

Director

eXPD8
eXPD8