WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As vice president of merchandising, beauty and personal care for CVS Health, Andrea Harrison oversees the cosmetics, skin, fragrance, hair and personal care categories, as well as the beauty service program, within the company’s retail business.
Today’s beauty shopper, according to Harrison, has evolved to focus on and expect not only the tried-and-true beauty products that they know and love, but also the accessible health and wellness offerings and convenience that CVS provides.
That health and wellness focus has driven many of the moves Harrison and her team have led this year, not least of which is the continued evolution of the Beauty Mark initiative, one of the achievements Harrison says she is most proud of.
“Over the past several years, we’ve seen the power of being a purpose-driven company and our proven ability to influence the industry to help our consumers have a healthier relationship with beauty,” Harrison says. “Since its inception in 2018, we have continued to evolve our Beauty Mark mission based on the changing needs of consumers. Now, in 2023 — as the impact of social media on the mental health of the younger generation has only escalated — we’re rallying consumers to join in our mission to create a healthier feed for a healthier self-image.”
This past May, in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Beauty Mark and aligned with Mental Health Awareness Month, CVS debuted a new social media campaign titled Role Model that powerfully showcases the impact of altered social media imagery on the younger generation and aims to spark change in social media behavior, encouraging consumers to practice image transparency by using #beautyunaltered or #digitallyaltered when they post.
Over the last five years, CVS has engaged thousands of influencers to rally around its Beauty Mark mission by posting unaltered imagery. Aligned with the Role Model campaign, CVS is continuing to work with dozens of influencers who can authentically speak to the topic — including Abbie Herbert, Arshia Moorjani, Dr. Mariel Buqué, Victoria Garrick Browne, Zahra and many more — and inspire consumers to participate in practicing transparency.
Harrison and her team continue to reimagine the assortment, value and physical space that has become increasingly appealing to consumers, all through a health and wellness lens.
She notes that assortment, in particular, is very important. “As healthy skin continues to be a major priority for us, we are always looking to introduce new brands and products that meet the unique and individual needs of our diverse consumer base.”
Customers’ skin care needs were top of mind when Harrison and her team launched the pilot of their Skin Care Center in 2022. Currently located in four CVS stores in New York, California and Connecticut, with plans to expand even further in 2024, the elevated in-store skin care beauty format was created to build on the success of the BeautyIRL format and meet a consumer need for more health-focused and personalized solutions.
In January of this year, the chain introduced one+other — an inclusive beauty and personal care brand by CVS Pharmacy that celebrates self-expression and embraces individuality that features a selection of 200-plus self-care staples — from cotton balls and nail polish removers to tweezers and hair accessories, and more.
Harrison says that what she finds most satisfying at CVS is being able to bring the company’s purpose to life in her work every day. “We believe we have an opportunity — and responsibility — to deeply understand the role we play in the well-being of our customers.”