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CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Target has launched a “beauty concierge” test program in 28 stores around the Chicago area, the Minneapolis-based company has confirmed to the Tribune.

The program, launched this week, will arm “concierges” with iPads, mirrors and product samples to provide expertise and guidance to shoppers browsing the retailer’s revamped beauty sections.

The concierges, who will be clad in all black, instead of Target’s standard red, will wear aprons and name tags identifying them. They will be on hand roughly 40 hours per week at times posted in the store to provide “detailed, unbiased information” and “act as a friendly face in what can often be an intimidating department,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Chicago was selected as the test market because of its various store formats and shopping population.

The concierge test program is part of a larger trend in the beauty industry in which department stores and specialty retailers are designing their selling areas to encourage shoppers to “try it and buy it.”

Target said that it plans to offer more high-end or “prestige” beauty brands to customers at the Target price point and has expanded its bath products and multicultural selections.

The retailer’s beauty offerings include an assortment of beauty essentials, “natural” beauty products and designer makeup brands such as Jemma Kidd and Sonia Kashuk.

The beauty program “adds comprehensive service and education that many of our guests want and expect while shopping beauty,” the company said in an emailed statement.

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