The Honest Company Expands Its Footprint To Reach More Customers

Founded in 2012 by Jessica Alba, Honest is the go-to clean, conscious lifestyle brand selling personal care, beauty, baby and household products. While the brand initially started as an e-commerce-only business, it has since expanded into 43,000 retail locations across the United States, Canada and Europe. Ten years since its founding, I had the opportunity recently to sit down with Nick Vlahos, CEO, to discuss The Honest Company’s expansion plans to provide greater access to customers across the US market.

COVID’s impact on the beauty sector

During COVID, when many non-essential retailers were shut down in the US market, consumers had to turn to e-commerce and hybrid shopping models, like buying online and then picking up in-store. Vlahos said, “Only solid omnichannel beauty retailers, like The Honest Company, could meet digital demands during COVID, and now as customers are returning to stores, we can serve them there as well.” The current expansion plans will help broaden the company’s footprint across the US market.

US expansion plans include Walmart
Publix, GNC and Ulta Beauty

Thousands of Walmart stores alongside will carry Honest products. Vlahos stated, “Honest and Walmart are committed to helping customers live better. This key addition to our strategic list of retailers enables us to increase the distribution of our baby and personal care products. It strengthens our ability to grow our community of conscious consumers.”

Vlahos discussed how important it is for customers across the US to have access to products available in stores that are most convenient for them. In the US, 90% of Americans live within ten miles of a Walmart store. Walmart has a strong presence in the southeast, and according to Vlahos, it’s an area in which Honest had little distribution before its agreement with Walmart. “We are underrepresented in the southeast, and with 42% of new births coming from that region, we need to make sure products are available to those customers.”

Publix, the fourth largest US grocery retailer, will have Honest products in all of its 1,248 stores. Products include bubble bath, shampoo/body wash and conditioning detangler. The partnership with GNC in May produced six Honest products, including three supplements and three body care products.

Most recently, Honest Beauty expanded into over 635 Ulta Beauty stores, including a new launch of its skincare line, the Honest Beauty Clearing Collection. Products are available both in stores and online, furthering its commitment to omnichannel presence. Jessica Alba, the founder of The Honest Company, stated, “The Ulta Beauty guest truly knows beauty inside and out, and we are thrilled to expand our partnership to bring our best in class products to guests in-stores nationwide.”

Innovating the beauty industry

Honest company has a philosophy of continuous improvement and sees itself as a modern consumer packaged goods (CPG) company disrupting the beauty CPG industry. Vlahos discussed the importance of being led by three strategic areas in its future expansion of the business — marketing innovation, product innovation and continuing its omnichannel strategy.

First and foremost is bringing awareness and encouraging the trial of the brand. The second is focusing on product innovation and serving the needs of the market with new products which the company can do through its in-house development center. Third, to 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 partnered with GNC in the supplements side of business.

Alba believes and has stated, “Health and wellness are a universal foundation for a life well-lived and I believe it’s our responsibility to leave the world better than when we found it. We care about all people and the planet.” The current expansion plans help the company provide great access to clean conscious products. Today’s consumers are looking for clean ingredients made by companies that practice sustainable initiatives and do the right things in terms of people and the planet. Vlahos added, “Consumers want to live a more conscious lifestyle which is our brand ethos, and we can serve that need.”

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