Ear Piercing is The Next Fun Retail Trend
Retail Dive | May 18,2022
You don’t have to go to the mall anymore to get your ears pierced. While teenagers in the past may have gotten theirs pierced at the mall, the service seems to be one that a number of big-box retailers think holds promise. Claire’s continues to offer the service with its certified piercing specialists. Although, unlike the ’80s, this time around you can book your appointment online.
In March, Five Below announced an ear piercing pilot program, wherein the service will be introduced to 150 stores this year. Five Below joins a number of other large retailers that are also offering the service. CVS began “pro-level piercing” services through a partnership with piercing manufacturer Studex following a successful pilot program with four stores in 2018. By 2019, the retailer began expanding, and ear piercing can now be found at 400 locations.
Target in March discussed its own ear piercing ambitions. The retailer began testing the service at a number of stores in Minneapolis, because the company’s research “found that guests were looking for a reliable, safe and convenient place to get their families’ ears pierced,” Target Chief Growth Officer Christina Hennington said on a call with analysts.
Target says it is the first and only national retainer to offer piercings performed by a licensed nurse, and has partnered with ear piercing company Rowan. “This service helps us connect and celebrate a major milestone with often younger guests, creating lasting affinity for our brand,” Hennington said. Target recently expanded the program to nearly 200 stores, with plans to “meaningfully increase” that number by the end of the year. “This is a fantastic example of what happens when we listen to our guests, deeply research the market opportunities and create a differentiated solution,” Hennington said.
Piercing and repeat retail traffic
Ear piercing is also an opportunity to drive shoppers into physical stores, according to Cullen Williams. “If they’re really trying to get and drive consumers into the store, this is a way to do it. You can’t do a piercing through any type of virtual medium. It has to be an in-person touch and feel type of thing.”
Technology is being incorporated into virtual piercing experiences, but as a means to experiment with products. Perfect Corp. this April introduced an extension to its 3D augmented reality tech for earrings, which allows brands to help customers virtually try on items. Shoppers can try on ear jewelry in 13 positions across the ear and mix and match accessories and placements on the ear lobe.