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7 Apr

Goal and Sephora Add More Intimate Wellness Brands –

Intimate wellness is getting physical. 

While beauty stores and mass retailers alike committed to constructing out intimate and sexual wellness categories, much of the expansion had been digital with brands like Maude and Dame happening Sephora’s website and Bloomi launching on Saks’ site. Ulta Beauty, which now operates The Wellness Shop, has an intimate wellness category in-store with more expansive offerings, including sex devices, online. 

But now, with a bit more experience within the category, beauty retailers are bringing more of those offerings into physical stores, most notably Maude launching certain stock keeping units at Sephora. Mass retailers which have had sexual wellness on the aisles for years — think heritage brands — are actually seeking to shake things up and modernize the category, as well. For instance, Goal is bringing Dame, a vibrant sexual wellness brand, and Jems, a contemporary condom brand, to its shelves.

Dame products

By launching a brand digital first, followed by in-store, retailers are testing the waters with these latest brands.

“It’s a little bit of risk aversion on the a part of the retailers, however it’s also what I’d call a up to date way of testing,” said Wendy Liebmann, chief executive officer at WSL Strategic Retail. “It has grow to be a legitimate distribution strategy.”

While this approach isn’t specific to intimate wellness, Liebmann hypothesizes it’s a way for retailers to ease into this newer category. 

“It’s their way of editing what’s available, and I do think a lot of the particularly broad-based retailers are sometimes overly sensitive to what they think their shoppers expect on the shelf,” she said. “Sometimes the retailers are more conservative than the consumers.” 

After offering Maude online for a yr, Sephora is now bringing the brand into physical doors, introducing intimate wellness in-person for the primary time. The retailer may even launch Luna Day by day, an intimate body care brand, online next week and in-stores mid-April. 

Intimate wellness brand Luna Daily launches at Sephora in-store and online.

Intimate wellness brand Luna Day by day launches at Sephora in-store and online.


“The debut of Intimate Care in Sephora stores is critical since it underscores our driving motivation for the category — namely, to encourage empowerment and destigmatization, and to point out up in a way that differs substantially from how the category has historically been displayed, discussed and accessed by the general public with a way of secrecy and taboo,” said Cindy Deily, Sephora’s vice chairman of skincare merchandising. 

While Maude has been successful on the brand’s site with different offerings, including devices, the in-store options will deal with topicals, including lubricants and intimate body care. 

“The importance of going to Sephora specifically is that there’s never been a sexual wellness brand of their doors in any respect,” said Éva Goicochea, founding father of Maude. “It is a big shift in where you could find the product. It really validates the category by way of seeing it as on par and worthy of the identical type of merchandising and opportunity to search out it as beauty and wellness.” 

When asked whether guests should expect devices in-store, Deily said Sephora’s “product assortment is rigorously curated to best serve the evolving needs of our clients.” While major stores like Goal have them, devices and accessories seem like considered online-only products for beauty retailers. 

Ulta Beauty has had an identical approach to Sephora’s — though the retailer has offered intimate wellness on shelves for some time now — specializing in topicals in-store and having a more expansive offering online to incorporate devices.

“When curating our offerings, we took a thoughtful approach to offer greater access to intimate solutions, while also being mindful of our younger guests shopping in stores,” said Ulta Beauty’s vice chairman of merchandising Penny Coy. “We do have select products available in store inside The Wellness Shop; nevertheless, our full intimate and sexual wellness offerings live totally on Ulta.com, allowing for discreet discovery and ease of shopping online.” 

Coy noted, relating to sexual wellness, launching online versus in-store “is less about testing the waters and more of a mirrored image of how guests wish to shop and explore the category.” 

As beauty retailers double down on launching the category, mass retailers, like Goal, are focused on innovating an existing aisle. Jems and Dame are key brands in that reinvention. 

“With the appearance of putting something like Jems on the shelf, it robotically changes what’s on offer and what young individuals are seeing after they approach that aisle [the condom aisle]. It’s sending a unique message,” said Jems cofounder Whitney Geller. 

Jems condoms

Jems cofounder Yasemin Emory equates the shift of condoms in-store to that of sunscreen just a few years ago.

“It’s not coming from a spot of fear, however it’s coming from, ‘This is a component of your on a regular basis needs and you’ll want to be armed with it.’ We have the desire to make the product feel different, look different and be accessible differently,” she said. An in-store presence, just like the brand now has with Goal, is essential. 

In taking over Jems and Dame, Goal is expanding its sexual wellness offerings, seemingly targeting a younger consumer. Based on the retailer, in-store offerings are at all times informed by consumer demand. Just like the retailer’s beauty counterparts, more expansive offerings within the sexual wellness category can be found online.

But while consumers can expect a greater, more modern in-store sexual and intimate wellness offering across retailers, certain features have proven to be difficult, specifically what’s merchandised and the way — think absence of devices in beauty retailers or the taboo previously related to the condom/sexual health aisle. 

“It needs to be pulled out from the dark aisles,” Liebmann said. “The shelf is already there. The buyer is already there by way of interest in these categories after which the range of products that go along with them. We’ve had products like KY Jelly for what appears like hundreds of years. It needs to be presented in a way that doesn’t feel dark and shameful because clearly the buyer has already said, ‘These are things I would like and I’ll log on to purchase them for those who don’t present it in a way that makes me feel comfortable and simple and never ashamed.’” 

Key Takeaways: 

  1. More intimate and sexual wellness offerings, specifically topicals, might be available in major beauty retailers. 
  2. Expect increased innovation at big-box retailers, as they aim to modernize sexual health aisles with latest brands. 
  3. Devices will likely remain online-only at beauty retailers in the meanwhile. Big-box retailers might be more prone to have devices in-store. 

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