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Beauty brand Pretty Smart launches exclusively at Walmart

June 11, 2024

Startup beauty brand Pretty Smart launched exclusively in 2,800 Walmart stores; as well as on the retailer’s website and on its own site on Monday, June 10, reports Retail Dive.

Founded by beauty industry veteran Marissa Shipman, Pretty Smart is a price-sensitive, vertically integrated collection of makeup products; and is a subsidiary of Renfield Manufacturing, which is a family-owned business.

At launch, the brand offers 27 products with more than 145 shade variations. All products are priced from $7.50 to $10 each, and are aimed at providing luxury beauty products at an accessible price.

Many beauty brands launch first on their own websites and build a following before looking to expand through wholesale partnerships and brick-and-mortar locations. But Pretty Smart started working with Walmart even before its launch.

The beauty brand developed its products with the Walmart merchandising team “to make sure we are hitting the right formulas, shades and product identities for the customer” and said it’s $10-and-under price point is only possible because of the scale Walmart provides. A vertically-integrated model also helps keep costs low.

“Because we are vertically integrated, we are able to trim the fat in every step of the manufacturing process,” Shipman said in an email. “In [other] words, we concept, source our own packaging, own our own lab, own our own equipment, industrialize internally, fill packaging and then are able to move into our warehouse where we ship directly to Walmart. This enables us to keep our costs down significantly. We do not skimp on ingredients. We could charge three to four times more than what we currently are for these products.”

Shipman founded her first cosmetics company, theBalm, in 2004. TheBalm sells its products in over 111 countries. While some of the product categories are similar, Shipman says the way they are marketed is vastly different.

The decision to launch exclusively with Walmart comes as the retailer continues to expand its beauty and wellness offerings—opting to bring on a number of DTC brands over the past few years. Some of those include hair color company Madison Reed, LeBron James’ The Shop grooming line, and natural remedies brand Hilma.

“Helping our customers discover new brands that will both inspire and delight them is a priority for Walmart Beauty,” Creighton Kiper, vice president of Beauty Merchandising at Walmart U.S., said in a statement.

“Pretty Smart, which embodies a similar goal, is the perfect addition to our shelves and Walmart.com. While these accessibly priced, yet still luxurious beauty products will appeal to all Walmart beauty shoppers, we’re especially excited about the opportunity to reach Gen Z with this lineup,” Kiper added.

Research contact: @RetailDive