Hard Candy…At WALMART?!?

14 August, 2009

Yes, you read correctly. Have you wondered why Sephora, ULTA, and any stockist with Hard Candy have been trying to clear out everything? That’s because the line is going to be relaunching at Walmart, at a more budget-friendly price point. Yes, you heard correctly. This is one of the first cases in which a brand that was formerly sold at the prestige level will be going downhill and sold at the drugstore level. And honestly? I have many opinions about this.

First, this is a good move for the company. Many of the products were of a lower quality than the other brands in that prestige grouping (Sugar, Bourjois, Pop Beauty), and it makes sense for the single shadows to be sold at a $7 price point as opposed to a $12 price point. It will also relaunch the company big-time, as reportedly they will be in about 3000 stores. It will be a brand that will appeal to the girls who are first getting into makeup, and I sure hope that even though they’d be in Walmart they stick to their no animal testing stance. They were owned by the same company that owns Urban Decay, and they are one of the most vegan-friendly makeup brands out there. Also, with things such as nail polishes (hopefully they still have the little rings) and the candy-coloured slider eyeshadows, those will grab the attention of the girls who are getting makeup, drawing them from the overadvertised Covergirl, overpriced L’Oreal, and overhyped Maybelline. Also, the prestige world is a very crowded world. You have to play to your specific niche and you have to release your stuff widely. Hard Candy is just not the kind of brand that could survive well against its competition.The bad side of this, of course, is that they are going to Walmart. Call me elitist, but I will never set foot in a Walmart again. Between the general atmosphere of the store, the corporate policies, the quality, and well, everything, Walmart will never get another penny from me. Sure, Walmart will market it to the masses, but Target would have been a better way to go. Target already has marketed themselves as more of the young and fun store as well as getting real designers to design everything from clocks to clothing, all at low prices. They seem to have done decently bringing in three very prestige makeup designers (Petra Strand, Jemma Kidd, and Napoleon Perdis, aka my hero) to create a more budget-priced line. Hard Candy would have been a good fit, as Target carried the widest selection of Bonne Bell back in the day (mini perfumes, scented nail polish top coats) and they also had Caboodles, which was very much a teen-oriented brand. Hard Candy is that sort of teen-oriented brand, and thus it would be a good fit for Target…but instead, Walmart. Also, it really says something that a brand has to completely discontinue everything and be owned by that one store-so any hopes of it coming to a Target or ULTA are immediately dashed.

From what I read of a snippet of a WWD article, the line is going to be over 200 SKU’s, with many new and old items alike. However, this is not a line I will be buying, as it is exclusive to Walmart, and I stay far, far away from there.


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