Founded in 2012 by Jessica Alba, Honest is the brand that sells personal care, beauty, baby products, and household items. While the brand initially started as an e-commerce-only business, it has since expanded to 43,000 retail locations across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Ten years after its founding, I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Nick Vlahos, CEO, to discuss The Honest Company’s expansion plans to provide greater access to customers throughout the US market.
The impact of COVID on the beauty industry
During COVID, when many non-essential retailers in the US market were closed, consumers had to turn to e-commerce and hybrid shopping models, such as online and in-store purchases. “Only multi-channel beauty retailers like The Honest Company can cater to digital requirements during COVID, and now that customers are back in stores, we can serve them there too,” Vlahos said. Existing expansion plans will help expand the company’s presence across the US market.
US expansion plans include Walmart
And Publix, GNC, and Ulta Beauty
Thousands of Walmart stores along with Walmart.com will carry Honest Products. Vlahos stated, “Honest and Walmart are committed to helping customers live better. This major addition to our strategic list of retailers allows us to further distribute baby and personal care products. It enhances our ability to grow our community of conscious consumers.”
Vlahos discussed how important it is for customers across the United States to have access to products available in stores that are most convenient for them. In the United States, 90% of Americans live within ten miles of a Walmart store. Walmart has a strong presence in the Southeast, and according to Flahaus, it’s an area where Honest Distribution had little to no prior to its agreement with Walmart. “We are underrepresented in the Southeast, and with 42% of newborns arriving from that area, we need to make sure products are available to those customers.”
Publix, the fourth largest grocery retailer in the United States, will have Honest Products in all of its 1,248 stores. Products include bubble bath, shampoo/body wash and detangling conditioner. The partnership with GNC in May produced six Honest products, including three supplements and three body care products.
Recently, Honest Beauty has expanded to more than 635 Ulta Beauty stores, including the launch of a new skincare line, the Honest Beauty Clearing Collection. The products are available both in stores and online, reinforcing its commitment to having multiple channels. Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company, stated, “Ulta Beauty guest truly knows beauty inside and out, and we’re thrilled to expand our partnership to bring our best products to guests in stores across the country.”
Beauty Industry Innovation
The Honest Company has a philosophy of continuous improvement and considers itself a modern consumer packaged goods (CPG) company disrupting the CPG cosmetic industry. Vlahos discussed the importance of driving through three strategic areas in their future business expansion – marketing innovation, product innovation, and continuation of the omnichannel strategy.
First and foremost is to raise awareness and encourage brand experience. The second is to focus on product innovation and serving market needs with new products that the company can do through its own in-house development center. Third, continue its expansion with like-minded partners and provide greater access to products. Vlahos discussed how important it is to find the right partners based on specific product categories. For example, Honest has partnered with GNC on the supplement side of the business.
Alba believes and states that “Health and wellness is a universal foundation for a good life and I believe it is our responsibility to leave the world better than we were when we found it. We care about all people and the planet.” Current expansion plans help the company to provide significant access to clean conscious products. Consumers today are looking for clean ingredients made by companies that pursue sustainable initiatives and do the right things for people and the planet. Vlahos added, “Consumers want to live a more mindful lifestyle which is the soul of our brand, and we can meet that need.”