It’s been a long time coming since the original announcement last October, but Harrods has finally opened its very first standalone beauty concept, H Beauty, at Intu Lakeside in Essex. A second location will follow in Milton Keynes next spring.
The 23,000 sq ft space opens as premium beauty is seen as a key growth area by retailers. Fashion retailer Next is also planning to open the first of its Beauty Hall standalones next month.
The new H Beauty store “embodies the future of beauty” we’re told, “providing an open and expansive space for customers to safely shop some of the most coveted and forward-thinking brands in the world”.
They include Chanel, La Prairie, Kilian, Tom Ford, Creed, Erborian, Dermalogica, Huda Beauty, Dior, Charlotte Tilbury, Iconic London, 111Skin, Balmain, YSL and Uoma, among many others.
It’s a big move for Harrods, which is best known for its giant multi-category luxury Knightsbridge flagship. The company said that H Beauty “is set to disrupt the UK beauty retail industry by creating an unparalleled wonderland that combines a diverse portfolio of premium and luxury brands with Harrods’ famous experiential beauty retail environment, to bring something entirely new”.
The general luxury experience means that as well as the beauty products, there’s The Champagne Bar, “a social space to sit, sip and celebrate with friends from a menu of patisserie and cocktails created by Harrods’ leading food and beverage team”.
There will also be a series of “exclusive and distinctive on-counter services including bespoke fast facials from Sisley, using a selection of the brand’s most nourishing products as well as product personalisation from Dior, Givenchy, and Atelier Cologne”.
Further brands and services will become available outside the pure beauty sphere, including “the most on-trend and modern eyewear styles from the David Clulow Sunglasses boutique”.
Looking at specific beauty categories, in skincare, the retailer has aimed to “showcase the exceptional innovation in this category” with “a price point to suit every consumer’s wallet, [and a] commitment to efficacy and creating products that really work”.
Meanwhile, fragrance in H Beauty “is really intended to emulate everything great that we do in Knightsbridge, as the UK’s foremost luxury fragrance retailer”.
And the make-up assortment comes from “the objective to offer a customer every possible angle to engage and be inspired by this category, which is designed not only to cater to your everyday make-up needs, but also to equip you with the tools and techniques to elevate your make-up game and tap in to the latest trends”. The store includes tech solutions for make-up such as ‘magic’ mirrors.
Annalise Fard, director of beauty, fine jewellery & watches and home at Harrods, said: “As Harrods’ very first beauty specialist retail space, H beauty is going to be a significant addition to the beauty landscape and will be a game-changing, destinational emporium.
“I see beauty as the entry point into luxury and it’s very exciting to be able to take the excitement and engagement for beauty and really deliver it to a customer on a wider platform. Harrods has vast authority and strong brand relationships within the beauty industry, which has provided us with the opportunity to offer H beauty customers both well-recognised brands that they know and love very much directly from Knightsbridge, as well as an exciting array of entirely new brands that can only be found [here]”.
She also said that while the brand portfolio will be similar across both the Lakeside and Milton Keynes locations, “the edit will be slightly different according to the culture of that location, city or that particular client and will allow H Beauty to be the central beauty hub in each destination”.
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