Harrods is opening a new standalone beauty fascia, called H Beauty, which will debut at Essex’s Intu Lakeside shopping centre in April.
The 23,000 sq ft store will be followed closely by a second in Milton Keynes, at a location yet to be revealed.
H Beauty will stock premium brands including Chanel, Dior and Huda Beauty, as well as brands new to Harrods, and services such as blowdries and facials. Customers will also be able to enjoy drinks at the H Beauty “coffee-to-cocktail” bar.
Harrods’ director of beauty, accessories, fine jewellery and watches, Annalise Fard, told Drapers the new chain will be in keeping with the retailer’s Knightsbridge flagship: “It will be a mini-version of Harrods but a bit more accessible. It is a massive opportunity to take our authority in beauty to a national audience in a more approachable way.”
Fard added: “Beauty is the entry point into luxury, through H Beauty we are able to take that excitement and fun around beauty, and deliver it to a wider platform of consumers through experiences and a considered customer journey.”
She explained that the current problems facing the high street and department stores such as Debenhams and House of Fraser had created a gap in the market for H Beauty: “It is the right time. It is no secret that the dominance of department stores is in decline. Outside London, there has been so little innovation in the retail landscape. There are the digital disruptors but there is a gap in physical retail.”
Fard said Harrods is looking at spaces above 20,000 sq ft, adding that she has “big ambitions” for the chain, but the overall number of stores will depend on market demand.
“It has taken a while to find the right locations. We want to create emporiums, so smaller spaces are more challenging. For those larger spaces, shopping centres are more readily available.
“There has been more change in the beauty market in the last five years than there has been in the last 50 years. There is an opportunity to take our existing authority in beauty, and our exemplary service, to a wider regional audience.”