As consumers demand natural products and the supply of natural ingredients grows, manufacturers are scrambling to respond.
And it’s not a good time to be a skin care brand.
A few weeks ago, Wal-Mart skin care announced a $300 million merger with Johnson & Johnson and a $100 million investment by the health-care giant.
Wal-mart has long been a leading player in the skin care market, but it’s now the second-largest seller in the United States after Target, and the largest supplier of skincare to retailers.
Wal-Mart is not alone in trying to respond to rising demand for natural products.
“We’re all in this together, and this is just a part of that,” said Jeffrey Schulz, a vice president at beauty giant Revlon, in an interview.
But Wal-Marts strategy is not necessarily to compete against Johnson &ammos products, he said.
Instead, the company is trying to build a portfolio of products to compete with Johnson&Johnson’s, which is selling a range of skicare and beauty products.
The company’s first natural skin care line, which it announced in January, is a mix of ingredients including jojoba oil and coconut oil.
Its newest line, called Pure, combines jojicurums and coconut oils.
In an effort to boost sales, Wal Mart is making it easier for consumers to shop for its products.
Consumers can shop at more than a dozen stores in cities across the United Sates and Canada.
The chain has also partnered with the online store Sephora and has opened a Wal-Co store in Seattle.
At the same time, Walmarts efforts to lure consumers back to its home turf have been stymied by a sluggish U.S. economy and a lack of innovation in the face of rising costs.
The company’s annual operating profit in the fourth quarter fell to $4.5 billion from $5.2 billion a year earlier, according to financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Its revenue rose just 2 percent to $15.4 billion from a year ago, the filings show.
Walmart reported a $1.5-billion loss for the year ended March 31, falling short of analysts’ expectations of a profit of $2.1 billion.
Despite its woes, Walmart said its profits grew 3.2 percent last year to $6.4 trillion, a mark it missed in 2016.
It said it was also able to reach a $3.2-billion cash dividend last month, a record for a publicly traded company.
For the past few years, WalMart has been trying to make it easier to shop online.
It has been investing in technology to help shoppers buy products and get them delivered to their doorsteps.
Last year, Walms digital marketing arm, Walmes, spent more than $2 billion on software to help it identify consumers who wanted products at a store and target them for promotions.
And last month the company launched its first-ever smartphone app to help customers shop for and order products online.
Walmart has also been using its presence on TV to boost its popularity.
It has partnered with CBS and ABC, and in February it launched a website that lets customers buy and sell products through an app.
The move to television also has helped Walmars sales.
Last quarter, Walmans digital media division, WalMe, posted a $9.2 million profit.
To make its brands more appealing, WalMarts executives have been investing heavily in research and development, with the goal of becoming a technology-based, global leader.
Last month, Walgreens chief executive John J. Walgorski told investors that his company was aiming to be “the most innovative technology company on earth,” by 2020.
He added that the company was focused on creating an ecosystem that would allow customers to buy and customize products in their own way.
WalMart and Johnson&amans have also been expanding their partnerships with retailers to improve the company’s presence in the home and to make products that are more appealing to consumers.
And in November, WalGreens began offering a new skin care range, Pure, for $35 a month, including a $35 one-year subscription for those who sign up for a $200 loyalty card.
Analysts have raised concerns that WalMart’s aggressive spending may hurt its bottom line, but its stock is up about 8 percent this year and its shares have gained about 2.7 percent this quarter.