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Beauty Bulletin: Apothecary Now

Nina Jones checks out the latest addition to Harrods' storied beauty halls.

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Appeared In
Special Issue
Beauty Inc issue 09/09/2011

Harrods, the iconic London department store, has unveiled a gleaming new 4,000-square-foot
Beauty Apothecary, dedicated to niche and innovative beauty products. The space, which bowed in July, carries around 50 brands, many exclusive to the store. They include a new fine fragrance line from Molton Brown called Navigations Through Scent, Acqua Di Parma’s Gelsomino Nobile fragrance, a Lancôme boutique dedicated to its Absolue Precious Cells cream (a concept exclusive to Harrods) and Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica cream.

This story first appeared in the September 9, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The room complements the store’s Lifestyle Beauty hall, also known as the White Hall, which carries major cosmetics brands, and Harrods’ perfumery, or Black Hall. While Harrods has long carried an offering of apothecary products, the new space houses the brands in a bespoke area, designed to showcase the range as “shoppable, approachable and browsable,” says Annalise Quest, general merchandise manager for beauty at Harrods. The room, which is done out with shimmering mother-of-pearl tiles on the walls, sleek bronze fittings and a glittering crystal chandelier, is designed to evoke “a certain modernity… but timeless elegance—those things are synonymous with Harrods’ DNA,” says Quest.

A focal point is the Techno Beauty area, which displays electronic beauty gadgets including Quasar MD’s Light Therapy products, Clarisonic’s skin care brush and No No hair removal devices. All the products are set up so customers can see them in action, and many stations have iPads installed to explain the products. “We wanted to create an environment that was fun, where you can come and test and try,” says Quest. “It’s an experience.”

The space also boasts a new fragrance wall, which carries niche lines such as Diptyque, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Miller Harris, Annick Goutal and Floris. And there are products that cross from beauty into lifestyle, namely Go Smile teeth-whitening products, Functionalab skin care supplements, and Visoanska, a line of skin care that’s exclusive to the store, which is presented with nutritional supplements. “[Our customer] was looking for additional elements to her regime,” says Quest. “It’s not just about antiaging products — it’s about your hands, your teeth, even hair care. Whereas we might have popped into a pharmacy [for hair products], now hair care is about treating the hair like skin care.”

While Quest declined to give a sales prediction for the Apothecary, she says reaction so far has been “fantastic.”

 

“It has certainly created a lot of buzz around the beauty floor,” she says. “The initial results support that and we would expect that trend to continue.”

And there’s yet more beauty developments on the horizon for Harrods. In September, the store will begin to unveil a new Color Hall, which will house color-led makeup lines. They include Tom Ford beauty, MAC, Bobbi Brown, Tom Pechaux’s collection for Estée Lauder and Chanel’s color collection, which will set up a pop-up space in the area. Chanel is also creating an exclusive collection for Harrods, which is part of a wider collaboration between the two brands. Says Quest, “Customers are shopping for makeup with […] a little more of a fashion trend–focused [mindset] and that’s what [the Color Hall] will give.”

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