LilyAna Naturals Makes A Big Move Beyond Amazon With A Nationwide Rollout At CVS

Hey TikTok-fueled CeraVe, a new player on retail shelves has its sights set on “switchin’ the positions” in the skincare market with you.

LilyAna Naturals strives to be hottest drugstore beauty property at local pharmacies throughout the country. Beginning today, the Amazon-born brand will be available at 2,768 CVS locations with its four bestsellers: $23 Face Cream, $30 Eye Cream, $23 Vitamin C Serum and $23 Retinol Cream. At 136 of the locations, CVS will also carry $28 Retinol Serum, $23 Vitamin C Serum and $26 Dark Spot Corrector. LilyAna will launch on the chain’s website next week.

“We think CVS is a great starting place to enter retail and get across the entire nation,” says LilyAna CEO and RDM Partners managing partner Retta Abraham. “They carry a number of products we compete with—the Neutrogenas and CeraVes—and we believe that we have a superior product and are excited to potentially take share from these other products and offer our products to consumers who may not be as familiar with them.”

Beginning today, the Amazon-born brand LilyAna Naturals will be available at 2,768 CVS locations with its four bestsellers: $23 Face Cream, $30 Eye Cream, $23 Vitamin C Serum and $23 Retinol Cream.

RDM, an e-commerce brand acquirer and operator with Modern Barbarian Beard Co., Spectrum Therapy Mats and AleHorn in its portfolio, bought LilyAna last year. Established in 2014, the skincare brand was created in Collinsville, Miss., a community with a population of less than 2,000 people, and named for Lily and Anna Belle, the daughters of its director of operations. Responding to demand for powerhouse skincare ingredients like retinol, LilyAna has become among the largest clean skincare brands on Amazon. Its four hero products have amassed over 70,000 reviews with 4.5-plus star ratings on the giant e-tailer.

After RDM scooped up LilyAna, it ventured to extend the brand beyond Amazon, first with a website featuring a skin quiz before reaching retail. It’s in a growing group of brands leveraging success on Amazon to stretch into traditional retail. Sky Organics and Wild Willies are earlier examples. To build the assortment on its site, LilyAna rolled out 11 products to complement its core four, including Retinol Serum, a standout from the recent releases. In addition, the brand refined its formulas make them cleaner. LilyAna’s vegan, cruelty-free formulas avoid parabens, phthalates, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), gluten, and artificial colors and fragrances.

“We think CVS is a great starting place to enter retail and get across the entire nation.”

A major retail push is a key component of LilyAna’s four-year plan to hit $100 million in sales. This fiscal year, which kicked off June 30 for the brand, its goal is to drive an 80% increase in sales. Currently, about 10% of LilyAna’s sales come from its direct-to-consumer platform and the rest from Amazon. Ideally, Abraham says 15% to 20% of LilyAna’s sales would be from DTC, 40% from retail and the remainder from Amazon, but he’s in no rush to get there. In 2022, he anticipates pursuing retailers such as Ulta Beauty and Target.

Of course, to land future retailers, it would behoove LilyAna to show it can win at CVS. Abraham figures there’s “meaningful overlap” between CVS and Amazon customers, particularly in their shopping behaviors. They’re both attracted to convenience and value. “The consumer is very much a like-minded consumer that may shop through a different channel,” says Abraham, bullish on LilyAna breaking into stores at the present stage of the pandemic. “We are excited about entering retail to be able to catch people’s shifting consumer preferences, which are going back to somewhat of a more normalized state of, yes, we are continuing to shop online, but we are starting to spend more money in retail stores.”

Retta Abraham, CEO of LilyAna Naturals and managing partner of RDM Partners

LilyAna’s prices are on the higher end for CVS, and the brand is considering introducing smaller sizes to provide entry-level price points. On its site, about 60% of customers are above the age of 45. On Amazon, about half are above 45. Abraham attributes the older age of LilyAna’s DTC customers at least partially to Facebook advertising drawing older customers. In general, LilyAna appeals to busy professional women and mothers trying to squeeze in tending to themselves.

Tailored to them, the brand has a robust product pipeline with a sunscreen, tinted moisturizers, and blemish and body care lines in the works. The products aren’t expected to be available until the second half of 2022. “We are continuing to do testing to see which products resonate the most with our consumer,” says Abraham. “We feel good about the product offering we have and are looking to primarily get greater traction with our existing line before launching new products.”

“We want to be a household name.”

With Amazon brand aggregators having piled up mountains of capital, Abraham receives inquiries every other day from companies interested in snapping up LilyAna. He brushes off their acquisitive aggression as he scans the market for opportunistic acquisitions himself. “From an investing perspective, I’m a value investor, and I look for great purchase prices and businesses,” he says. “At this time in the market cycle, I see things as being expensive. If there is a great opportunity, we are ready. We have the resources to act quickly and are sitting in a very strong position, but I’m waiting for a pullback in some of the valuations and from a macro perspective in terms of the market. I think that will translate to a better buying opportunity.”

Meanwhile, Abraham has plenty to hold his attention as he builds LilyAna. The brand is employing CVS’s various suite of marketing tools to help raise awareness of its presence in the retailer’s doors. Abraham is bringing on employees to support LilyAna’s online and offline operations. The brand just hired a chief revenue officer, and Abraham hopes to soon fill creative, retail and marketing positions.

LilyAna’s four-year plan to hit $100 million in sales. In its current fiscal year, the skincare brand’s target is to increase sales by 80%.

“We want to be a household name, and we want to make sure that everybody who purchases our product, we give incredible products at affordable prices to them. We remain committed to quality,” he says. “We think we are a great business, and we want to continue to spread the word and share about our story and to get into more consumers’ hands.”