Cosmetic Prices Slipping at Department Stores

Competition impacts makeup sales

Liliana Salazar says high-end cosmetic companies are slow to lower their prices.

"I think they probably know that women will buy it regardless," said Salazar.

She's not alone. Rhonda Wick has gotten used to paying top prices for her makeup.

"Because we need it and we're gonna pay the money," said Wick.

But Tonya Warner said increased competition could change all that.

"With the new way we shop, retail versus online, it's a little bit of a different world," said Warner.

But while major department stores may be feeling the heat, they won't necessarily slash prices on the shelf.  San Diego State University Marketing Professor Michael Belch said stores are more likely to go for short-term sales cuts rather than lowering the price.

"Once you lower the price people recognize that you can sell it at that price," said Belch. "There is no coming back from that."

The Wall Street Journal reported that stores like Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale's and Macy's have all recently offered some sort of advertised discount on cosmetics.

More price oriented stores like Ulta and Sephora may have contributed to the pressure on department stores to lower their prices.  But online competition is also taking a bite out of makeup sales.

Wick told NBC 7, she would love to see department stores feel the pressure to lower their makeup prices.

"I would love to see a price war. It would be more affordable, and then I would buy more of it," she said.

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