LONDON -- For its first venture into cosmetics, Liberty is bending some of the traditions of beauty retailing.
The new 2,000-square-foot cosmetics department, which opened in November in the department store chain's Regent Street flagship, has been something of an experiment in the following ways:
It is emphasizing self-service for fragrances.
It is using Liberty-designed lacquer and nickel-plate counters instead of those designed by the beauty companies.
It is building a computer database of product information for customers' use.
It is forsaking some major names for smaller, more exclusive beauty houses.
Through Christmas, the results justified the changes -- the department was 48.6 percent ahead of projections, according to Lorna McKnight, the consultant who developed Liberty's new plan.
The best-selling lines are Clinique and Chanel, which was 49 percent ahead of its target through December. In fragrances, the bestsellers are Jean Paul Gaultier and L'Eau d'Issey.
The department's sales so far have been split equally between fragrance and skin care. McKnight said the store is emphasizing treatment and fragrance over color cosmetics.
In layout, the department is divided between avant-garde companies and more classic suppliers such as Chanel, Lancome, Estee Lauder and Clinique, McKnight said. Among the houses missing from the department are Elizabeth Arden and Clarins.
Smaller companies with counters are Aveda natural treatment and makeup products from the U.S.; Espa, a 32-item aromatherapy range from Britain; Shu Uemura makeup, and Octee, a fragrance and skin care line. Liberty is the first European store to carry Octee outside of the line's own shop in Paris.
Fragrances are arranged not by supplier but by geographical origin -- French, international and American. The plan is to list top notes, middle notes and base notes on the back of each tester to enable a customer to identify the type of fragrance she likes.
Educating the customer is also the purpose of the computer database, which contains ingredient information and brief descriptions of every product in the department. For hair and makeup products, the information also is broken down by price point.
Exclusive: @britneyspears is continuing to expand her brand. The pop icon, who appears in @kenzo ’s latest campaign, is partnering with Epic Rights to launch a line of branded merchandise. Read @hernameislex ‘s story, link in bio. #wwdnews #britneyspears
The Duchess of Cambridge channeled Princess Diana’s look upon giving birth to Prince Harry, when she and the Duke of Cambridge departed the hospital with the new baby Prince this afternoon in London. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
The new Prince of Cambridge has arrived! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge posed with the 8-pound newborn. She wore a look from one of her go-to designers, @jennypackham. Tap link in bio for more. #wwdeye #princeofcambridge
Jewelry label @alisonlou has made a name for itself with fine jewelry that speaks to the Millennial market. Now @twallz21 reports that the label is bringing those playful ideas to a new affordable line of lucite hoops with the launch of Loucite by Alison Lou. Here’s a look from the line modeled by @emrata. #wwdaccessories
@sarahjessicaparker and @gilt are teaming up on a bridal ready-to-wear line. Tomorrow, Parker will launch SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Bridal — and as part of the launch, Gilt will offer 15 exclusive styles from the SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker footwear collection that were designed to complement the new line. Made out of 10 styles, the line is designed for a variety of occasions, from bridal showers to receptions. Get more details on WWD.com #wwdfashion
A grooming moment between @tanfrance and @antoni last night at the The LGBT Community Center Trailblazer Awards honoring Anna Wintour, Ricky Martin and more. See more photos at WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“It was a very surreal feeling. It wasn’t like we were in the studio together coming up with it — it’s more like he discovered it and loved it. I didn’t let myself get my hopes up, but then it happened it was very exciting,” said singer-songwriter @nombe on discovering that @pharrell would be using his song, “Cant Catch Me” on his HBO documentary series “Outpost.” The German-born singer — named Noah MacBeth — talked to WWD about feminism, using art as a platform for political expression and personal style. Read more on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
This season, denim is going west – in influence. Brands like @fathersdaughterla (pictured here), @tommyhilfiger Jeans, @levis and more are opting for raw, top-stitching styles. (Styled by @thealexbadia; 📷: @ryanplett)