The show has always been a marketplace for manufacturers to show off their latest offerings to distributors. But alas two things have happened over the past few years. One, manufacturers have fewer new products to offer and two, there are hardly any distributors left to walk the aisles. Last year was a tipping point with more booths for Asian companies than ever which left many wondering what would be next.
As a “reinvention”, Cosmoprof is tossing out the old layout of the show floor and has created a new layout for 2015. Now there will be only three sections. One for companies focused on professional goods for hair, nails and skin. One for companies that produce machinery, packaging and other raw materials. And finally the third one: For companies that sell goods for retail. Bye-bye distributors, hello retailers.
Now for those in the know, and retailers are certainly more in the know than most, there already are plenty of events and shows for them to attend that sell beauty products. But since Cosmoprof needs more traffic to sell booth space, it had to do something to get more people walking the aisles.
And since Cosmoprof is connected with PBA (Professional Beauty Association), this is the final leg of the conversion of our industry. Most likely, the PBA will need to rename itself to PRBA (Professional and Retail Beauty Association).
What this means for companies that sell both professional-only AND retail products, I have no idea. Since the show floor is small and contained in one room, most likely established companies such as Helen of Troy will claim their old space and be open for business regardless who walks by just as they have done all along. But it will be interesting to see what happens.
The other question of course is what new companies will buy booths for the retail area. Just think of all the companies that supply Sephora and Ulta.
Alas, it anything truly professional anymore? Every brand is sold at Amazon and numerous brands are sold at Sephora and Ulta. They are true merchants. Mass drug retailers are expanding their beauty footprints as well.
Time will tell the future as it always does. For now, Cosmoprof 2015 will be yet another watershed event for professional beauty as we once knew it when it was BBSI.
On a side note it will be very strange indeed to walk into the OPI meeting room without George, Bill or Suzi’s presence. I wonder if they will still have the expresso counter. Life moves forward.