By  on September 28, 2007

PARIS — Printemps department store will unveil its new vision of beauty in late October.

"The concept is to be a beauty brand showcase," said Stephanie Lalaude, beauty market director at the PPR-owned retailer, who has had extensive brand-building experience herself. (For eight years prior to joining Printemps in May 2006, she served as Parfums Christian Dior's marketing director for France.)

In the space, covering more than 40,000 square feet spread over two floors, Printemps will carry more than 300 beauty brands, plus have services that are unique and exclusive to France.

"The mission of the department store is to give a 'wow effect,'" she said.

On the ground floor will be shop-in-shops designed by major beauty brands such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani Cosmetics, Helena Rubinstein, Yves Saint Laurent and Lancôme. These mini-stores, measuring up to about 670 square feet each and selling a combination of fragrance, skin care and makeup products, are a first in French department stores, according to Lalaude.

She said each one is personalized with its own brand's "codes." At Armani, for example, there's a large screen on which will be shown clips from fashion shows.

Within this cluster of brands will be multinational skin care players such as Shiseido, Estée Lauder, Biotherm, Carita, Clarins and, for the first time for Printemps, La Prairie.

"Each brand will have a particular service," said Lalaude, who explained some of the Asian brands, for instance, will give mini-massages and facials; Lancôme is to provide in-depth eyelash diagnosis, while Dior will send people off with CD-ROMs of their on-the-spot makeovers, something it only did in the U.K.'s Harvey Nichols department store until now.

The 1,100-square-foot Scent Room, also on the ground floor, is for niche — or what Lalaude calls "rare" — fragrances. Among the brands here are By Kilian, Etro, Juliette Has A Gun and Nelly Rody, many of which are exclusive in France.

"The Scent Room is a concept that doesn't exist in any other French department store," said Lalaude. "We feel a renewal of fragrance — especially luxury fragrance."

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