Today, WWD reports that the rumors are true and Barrymore’s new line, Flower, will be on the shelves of more than 1,500 Walmart stores come January. The actress co-owns the company with Maesa, a design and manufacturing company, and is said to be involved in every step of the process. “I think, if you really care about things, then you just naturally get involved,” she told the trade paper. “I don’t want to sit there and hope it works out…Maybe it is just a type of personality. I can’t sleep at night. I care.”
According to Walmart’s vice president of beauty and personal care Carmen Bauza, what sets Flower apart from the retailer’s other “mass” cosmetics brands, is that it offers an “aspirational, prestige product.” This means that Walmart spent two to three times more money developing the formula for each product than it would at the typical mass level, although Drew’s 181-piece line will retail for only $4.98 to $13.98.
How can they afford to do that? Well, they’re Walmart, so they can bypass the usual sales force and stock it directly on their shelves, and they plan to eschew the usual big money advertising in the hopes that Drew’s star power, along with social media and in-store marketing, will drive sales.
“The business model is actually reversed from the typical P&G or L’Oréal business model, where instead of spending 20 or 30 percent of our revenue in advertising, it goes into the formula,” MAesa founder and CEO Gregory Mager told WWD. “At the end of the day, what we are able to spend for our formula is strictly equivalent to what prestige brands are spending.”
But, as Barrymore sums it up: “We want it to be in people’s hands.” And, of course, on their faces.