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5 December 2017

Vienna insight: Beauty shopping

Vienna insight by Fashionoffice publisher Karin Sawetz

Beauty shopping is a very personal thing. For me, the more the sales persons fulfill the title 'beauty experts' the higher the store ranges in my personal favorites list. One of the beauty locations I prefer is the Kiehl's store at Tuchlauben. At this point I must confess that I select the beauty destinations also after the chance to park my bicycle.

Some Kiehl's products belong to my standard equipment since many years and in most of the cases of my beauty shopping tours I come along with my bicycle. I'm not a bicycle-only traffic member - I drive a car and motorcycle as well; but cycling is part of my beauty ritual. At Marionnaud at the Graben for example (another place where I preferably purchase my cosmetics), I can park my bike around the corner at an official bicycle rack. At Kiehl's it's more complicated and sometimes when there is outside almost no chance, I park the bike inside the store vis-à-vis of a motorbike which belongs to the interior of Kiehl's. It's not only the parking situation which leads me to these two destinations - Kiehl's at the Tuchlauben and Marionnaud at the Graben. It's as I mentioned before the professional qualification of the sales persons who mediate the impression of thinking of their customers as a very heterogenous group of people with manifold demands into beauty: Nowadays, women look like glam-musical-opera stars prepared for the red carpet in the evening and on the next day, the same women present a natural make-up à la Diane Keaton in the 70ies movie 'Annie Hall'. Recommending the right products for the individual skin quality (dry or oily skin), face type (more female or male lineaments,...), or the planned style (glam maquillage or everyday make-up) is the challenge of this profession. I think as soon as the customer experiences that the sales person only wants to make money and sells a product only because the price is high, the client will lost the trust. And trust is important is this field. What can the best face cream do for you when it's optimized for another skin type? It's obvious that cosmetics, the whole beauty industry has its roots in medicine. Kiehl's for example was founded 1851 as apothecary.

fig.: The paper-shopping bag on this page is from my last shopping trip via bicycle to Kiehl's at Tuchlauben in Vienna. The bag traveled several kilometers hanging on the handlebar of my mountain bike - the tour leads also through the forest. At home, I looked closer at the yellow paper-stripe with the hand-writing "Am Schönsten Sind Wir Wenn Wir Niemandem Gefallen Wollen." which could be translated as that "We are most beautiful when we don't want be beautiful for somebody else."

I wrote in this article about customers who have manifold demands which can't be estimated easily. Kiehl's knows how to handle that.

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© since 1996 Sawetz