Friday, July 29, 2016

Breaking Beauty News: Walgreens to Shut Down Drugstore.com and Beauty.com


Well it looks like Fridays are the days for breaking news in the beauty world. Last Friday I shared that L'Oreal is buying IT Cosmetics, and today this:

From The Wall Street Journal:

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. on Thursday said it is shutting down two websites--Drugstore.com and Beauty.com--five years after acquiring them, a sign of how traditional retailers continue to struggle with online properties.

The retailer acquired both sites as part of its $429 million acquisition of Drugstore.com in 2011. At the time, Drugstore.com and its affiliated sites were the eighth largest pureplay online retailer, according to Internet Retailer Magazine.

Walgreens new management has started to unwind that acquisition to focus its online business on its own website devoted to its flagship drugstore chain, according to a Thursday regulatory filing. Earlier this year, Walgreens sold Skinstore.com, another vestige of the Drugstore.com acquisition, to the Hut Group, a U.K. online retailer, according to a company spokesman, who didn’t specify the sale price.

The company is still trying to fine tune its e-commerce strategy but clearly wants to focus more of its resources on one main site. “They want to make sure they can invest more of the equity in Walgreens.com,” said Brian Owens, a director at the consultancy Kantar Retail. “Drugstore.com and Beauty.com are distractions.”

Read the full article here.

In that article, Walgreens states that both sites will be closed by "the end of September". In a related article on Drugstorenews.com, Walgreens stated that over the past year, they have been focusing their efforts on improving the Walgreens.com website, so I'm guessing that they'll integrate some of the brands/products from Drugstore.com and Beauty.com into Walgreens.com moving forward. Long before this was announced, you could already find many of the same products from Drugstore.com and Beauty.com on the Walgreens website (as I've mentioned here many times).

In the next several weeks, I would expect to see some major sales on both sites. Just today, I received an email from Beauty.com alerting me to a new Summer Clearance Sale (you can check that out HERE), and I expect to see more of those types of  sales as we move toward September.

Thoughts?
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53 comments

  1. Wow, what a shock. I love both sites and just received an order a couple of days ago. I'm so disappointed, because both sites had a great selection and a low free shipping threshold, not to mention a shared cart and the cash back on every purchase. I don't get it.

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    1. I am so disappointed. Drugstore.com had such a nice variety of inventory with great prices great shipping and user-friendly website not to mention a cash bonus. I have been a loyal and satisfied customer for over 10 years. I am determined NEVER to shop at Walgreen and urge others to do the same.

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    2. I agree with you. Stupid move on Walgreen's part.

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    3. Agreed. They come in and buy it just five years ago, and then go shut it down. Now lots of people will lose their jobs, and there will be many upset customers. I'm on Anne's Walgreen's boycott train.

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    4. Wow! Super disappointed Walgreens is doing this. Drugstore.com and beauty.com had terrific items at terrific prices. And, for comparison purposes, Walgreens.com is more expensive than drugstore.com. Now, I'll probably ly be purchasing items I need at jet.com, soap.com or boxed.com, comparing prices first.
      Walgreens is really stupid for doing this. I don"t see their on line business as being successful unless they make major changes!

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    5. If Walgreens does not sell the products that drugstore and beauty.com sell, I think they are making a big mistake. Walgreens is too ordinary and I will no longer buy on-line. My cousin also will no longer buy. I am sure we are not alon.

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  2. I don't understand why they would pay half a Billion dollars for all that infrastructure just to shut it down 5 years later. smh

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    1. For exactly that reason..to shut them down, and Walgreens gets all the business/money flow.

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  3. Hi G I'm new to this site but admire your dedication and work ethic kudos. I wanted to know if you knew ulta is having a 3day up to 50%off sale including things from bare minerals, lorac and buxum thanks

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    1. Thanks so much, Shay! I was working on a blog post about this as your comment came through (great minds think alike!). There are some freebies and other perks going on right now, in conjunction with these deals, so give my new blog post a read if you have a moment! Here's the direct link:

      http://nouveaucheap.blogspot.com/2016/07/hot-3-day-only-deals-at-ulta-with.html

      Thanks again! :)

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  4. I am so disappointed to hear this. Drugstore.com has such a large selection of products and is a single site where I can purchase products that are not available at other websites.

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  5. This is so disappointing :( A lot of the times drugstore.com has significantly cheaper prices than the Walgreens site. In addition, beauty.com has some fabulous sales from time to time! I'm gonna miss em both :'(

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  6. This is disappointing. I really liked both websites.

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  7. Its sad for them. I looked at the sale page and there are a lot of items there, that I've seen at Marshall's and TJ Maxx.( for a lot less $$)

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  8. Yeah.. Coming this September ifs going to be a hassle for us.. Well for those who work at Walgreens that aren't getting the cool Cosmetics area, we will no longer have a "Cosmetics person" as they'll be a regular floor person but can still use their knowledge to help customers. It really sucks thought.

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  9. My purchases on both websites has severely tapered off in the last few years. I'm not a fan of their bizarre coupon system or their customer service. I know I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth, but you have to jump through so many hoops to get the free gifts with purchase they send out email blasts about and then run out of immediately.

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  10. I LOVE LOVE love drugstore.com it's my go to online store... It Was... :(

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  11. Super sad to hear this, especially because I have shoprunner free 2 day shipping with both sites. I don't particularly shop at or care for Walgreens. Sigh.

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  12. Wow, that is horrible. Both sights have excellent customer service and I have been ordering from them since the late 90's I think. :-(

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  13. Ugh! Means I need to hurry up and ask for my money back and make sure it's not a credit but an actual refund on the nyx orange concealers I bought which were expired already three years!

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  14. This is not good news. I like drugstore.com for buying supplements that are not readily available in traditional drugstores. I don't mind switching over to iHerb to get those supplements, but it's disappointing news nonetheless. drugstore.com seemed to have everything that I could not find in the brick and mortar stores. Sad sigh.

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  15. This makes me sad. I used to buy all my Quest bars from Drugstore.com so I could get the drugstore.com dollars quarterly back to spend on the site. (Bought them with my Amazon rewards card and used eBates so I was kind of like triple-dipping...)

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  16. I am really sad for the employees of those sites. I hope they'll be transitioned or compensated in some way for losing their jobs. :-(

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    1. This is what I'm upset about. Their headquarters are in my city. I hope this isn't going to mean tons and tons of layoffs for people :(

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  17. I guess I'll start using Amazon (Sold by and Shipped From) for these purposes.

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  18. Well, this is very sad - both for the customer and the employees. I have been ordering from both sites for years. As mentioned by other commentors, drugstore.com carries items you cannot find elsewhere (and they don't artificially raise the price on them either!) I have contacted Customer Service probably 5 times over the years and ALWAYS received a personal, well-written response and quick resolution. I like that I can use Shoprunner. I like drugstore dollars (In fact, I have $25+ right now that I'd better use!)

    Sad. I'm going to write to Customer Service - I know it won't change anything but it might be nice for them to know that both sites will be missed.

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  19. What the?? drugstore.com and beauty.com are "a distraction"? For who? Not for the consumer! Talk about a web strategy that is NOT focused on customer's needs...
    Both websites had great brands and products that were hard to find elsewhere, but there was obviously very little effort put in them to make the sites easy to navigate. Closing them down instead of improving them sounds like a highly stupid strategic decision! walgreens.com isn't a very user-friendly website either...

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  20. I'm not too upset - beauty.com has been disappointing me so much. If you've ever tried to return something, you'll know what I'm talking about. CS can be useless and I've had to call them literally every single time I've made a return throughout the years to ask them where my refund is. I don't know why I continued to purchase. Also, there are always issues applying promo codes and those click-through e-mail promos frequently don't work. Plus, I was always unsatisfied with how little padding they used in the packages - I could often hear items just tumbling around in the box.

    I will say though that I'll definitely miss drugstore.com because of its low prices and convenience, since I can buy everything I need for the home/personal care from one website.

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  21. i use both of these websites consistently :( i'm so upset, i could get all my stuff in the same place

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  22. SIGH, I'll miss drugstore.com. There are so many items that it carried that Walgreens doesn't carry in store. It's sad. No mention on what they are doing with Rite Aid thou?

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  23. I cannot see any improvement in the Walgreens site, so I'm curious to know exactly what they're doing besides moving brands and products around. It still takes them months to get new drugstore products listed on their site, and Drugstore/Beauty.com always have better deals.

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  24. Count me among the disappointed. I ordered from Drugstore.com fairly often. It was my go-to site for products that are hard to find in stores, or even on other websites.

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  25. Dumb, dumb and DUMB!! Is Walgreens going to move the high-end brands to their site now?? And they have their work cut out for them...I don't use their site, but the format of their app is ridiculous.

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  26. This is seriously sad news. I loved how drugstore.com had some products faster than the Walgreens site itself. The most recent example is I was able to get almost the entire Barbie line from drugstore.com but couldn't find it on the Walgreens site. It's little things like that, that I know I'll miss. Plus the cash bask! Walgreens really is making the wrong decision.

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    1. I agree! They are making a HUGE mistake! drugstore.com is an amazing website and I have been finding deals on there since 2012! Not to mention what you pointed out - always having items available super quick!

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  27. It doesn't matter, what they have in stock you could fit in a thimble, and still have room for a sofa! The only thing Walgreens needs to do is to make everything available on line, not any of their in store only crap!

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  28. I pretty much quit ordering from drugstore.com when their shipping threshold went up to $35. Now I either use iherb or swansonvitamins for supplements, and amazon for most everything else that I can't find in my local stores. Still, I'm surprised they decided to close such a well known site in favor of their store site.

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  29. Ugh, had no idea Walgreens purchased both sites years ago. I love drugstore.com and always order those hard to find items on their site, so disappointing. Thanks for the info as always!

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  30. I belive Walgreens purchased those sites with the full intention of shutting them in order to consolidate and shrink the competition on line.

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  31. Drugstore.com/Beauty.com are linked to RiteAid, which Walgreens just bought out. So they didn't "purchase" them, they came with the deal. They are keeping a few stores with the name "RiteAid", but everything else will be Walgreens. My Mom has been management for Payless/Thrifty/RiteAid since 1984 and this buy out is going to be horrid. Walgreens doesn't even take Military or MediCal Rx's because their profit margins are too low. Of course they are bringing down anything RiteAid related, the cosmetic resets are already beginning.

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    1. Walgreens also bought out Duane Reade in the New York City area. All I have in my area are three drug stores under one umbrella. How can this monopoly allowed?

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  32. this is so sad. I absolutely love drugstore.com. I have a hard time finding products I use in stock at my local walgreens/cvs. I live in a downtown city environment so I do not have a Target or Walmart nearby and hate having to drive into suburbia just to find that 4 of the 9 products I need are not in stock. So I've been shopping on drugstore.com for awhile now. I love the autodelivery and the drugstore bucks. I'm really sad to see it go and they had incredible deals and fast shipping.

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  33. Agree! Super fast shipping, last Sunday in the afternoon I placed my order and got it today without paying express shipping... I will miss drugstore.com sooo much

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  34. I do not understand why they would shut down drugstore.com. The products are great. The shipping is super fast. There are two websites with one bag order. I will miss drugstore.com. I am hoping Walgreens comes up with something as good because the Walgreens website is not worth ordering from!

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  35. I hope Walgreens comes up with a website as good as dripugstore.com/beauty.com. Walgreens website is not worth ordering from. I am very upset that there will not be a drugstore.com anymore­čśô

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  36. Boycott Walgreens. I definitely will. Eventually management will get the message.

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  37. I just moved to England three months ago and I was ecstatic to learn that drugstore.com shipped to APO/AE addresses, so I bought my usual feminine products in bulk and received my shipment earlier than I expected. I'm very very disappointed to learn that they're closing down the site, especially since the service has been excellent.

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  38. I just found out. I'm so disappointed. Not only does drugstore.com have a great selection, but their website is so nice. It's so easy to find a product you ordered years ago in your order history, and it's just a nicely designed website in general. I hate shopping on walgreens.com. I think I ordered something once from walgreens but that was it. Poorly designed online shopping experience.

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  39. Now I like Walgreens even less. Walgreens is a terrible monster.

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  40. These giant conglomerates regularly buy their competitors, run them into the ground and then close them. If our government doesn't start putting some restrictions on monopolies, we're going to be down to very little choice in purchasing and very few ways to save money.

    Drugstore.com had many products that were impossible to find in brick and mortar stores and their prices were good.

    Sadly, the deals this month of their closing are ridiculous. Saturday I got an email saying I could save 20% if I bought $100.00 worth of items. I put the $100.00 in my cart, only to not see any savings. The "sale" had ended at NOON on Saturday. Who ends a sale at noon?

    It's obvious Walgreens only acquired Drugstore.com so they could eliminate more of their competition.

    If people keep voting GOP this will just happen more and more. We need MORE retail oversight, not less from our government. Unbridled greed has made uncontrolled capitalism benefit ONLY those at the top. Think not only of the choices we, as consumers are losing, but all the people who are losing their jobs as this site closes.

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