By  on May 11, 2007

Takashimaya will move its beauty department from the sixth to the ground floor of its Fifth Avenue store in New York on Wednesday, to generate more traffic.

Recently renamed Becoming, the 2,000-square-foot beauty section will move intact with its assortment of about 20 brands, including skin care labels Valmont, Babor, Kanebo and Amanda Lacey, and color lines Shu Uemura and Michael Marcus. Set amid shoji screens on the ground floor, the beauty brands will be separated into fragrance, skin care and color categories rather than by brand. Japanese lighting designer Eriko Horiki worked with David Mann of MR Architecture on the redesign.

"We wanted to present a Zen-like aesthetic with a residential-like atmosphere," said Liz Conover, Takashimaya's executive director of merchandising and marketing. "We wanted to replicate what we think people expect in other areas of our store."

According to Conover, Taka­shimaya hopes the move will boost beauty sales by 50 percent across all categories including fragrance, cosmetics and skin care.

The new first-floor location will also feature a women's accessories department. To make room, the store will move its home fragrances to the fifth floor's bedroom department. In addition, the store's floral shop, tea garden and expanded children's boutique will be relocated to the sixth floor.

Takashimaya is also improving customer service by doubling its roster of beauty specialists to 10. They will be equipped with specially designed lacquered Japanese bento boxes to assist customers with their selection of cosmetics in all categories. There will also be a private room on the first floor for special treatments, including makeup application and facials.

"The concept of the floor is to present color, fragrance and skin care in a selection of bento boxes to try to create customization, something that our customers want from a variety of different brands," said Conover. "We wanted to present a customized gift experience in the beauty world."

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