PARIS — Printemps is about to unveil what it bills as the “biggest perfumery in the world.”

The Pinault-Printemps-Redoute-owned department store on Boulevard Haussmann here is gearing up to unveil the 43,055-square-foot space — 60 percent larger than its former beauty department — in November.

It’s a two-floor extravaganza that carries 200 beauty brands on the first and second stories of the Printemps de la Maison building. Fragrance and makeup are on shelves on the first floor, which is linked by an escalator to the one above carrying skin care items.

The makeover, which cost about $8.6 million — or, in local currency, 8 million euros — was supervised by architects Edouard Boucher et Associés and Guillaume Neuhaus. The perfumery’s green-and-white tiles were replaced by marble floors and white walls that have a pearly finish. The central escalator is meant to direct the eye to the second floor, where the transparent safety rails allow for activity on the skin care floor to be visible from below.

With the new department, called Printemps de la Beauté, the department store aims to sharpen its competitive edge and boost beauty revenues by 40 percent over the next three years. Beauty sales at Printemps’ flagship were estimated at between $37.2 million and $46.5 million last year, according to industry sources.

“Our aim is to take market share from perfumery chains and specialized stores by focusing on service,” explained Laurence Danon, president of Printemps’ board of directors and member of PPR’s executive committee.

So, to lure consumers, the perfumery will be fine-tuned for all beauty needs, she said. Those waiting for a massage, for example, can visit the Nuxe or Shiseido spas on the second floor, where there also will be mini treatment rooms associated with other brands for facials or other hands-on treatments. Larger cabins can be used by brands for more in-depth massages, too.

In all, 20 treatment rooms will be located on the skin care floor.

And the services don’t stop there. Other offerings include:

  • A “beauty coach” to diagnose skin care needs of individuals.

  • An atelier where customers can learn about fragrances, manned by a Quest International perfumer, who will help guide people in their choices of scents.
  • A hot line for ordering products, delivered within 24 hours. Also, at this number, consumers can create beauty “wish lists” from which friends or family can choose.

  • A restaurant for calorie-counting visitors.
    Danon said the two-floor, category-driven layout of the new beauty department lends itself well to today’s consumers, since Printemps-conducted research shows that a mere 6 percent of women purchase both prestige skin care and makeup on any given day.


Danon also explained the new beauty department was designed to give people the choice between self-service and assisted-selling formats. She noted 60 percent of the products sold in Printemps de la Beauté will be accessible to consumers who do not want advice before making a purchase. Products will be located on self-service display units within each brand’s stand, as well as behind counters. And general Printemps or brand-specific staff can answer questions.

“We wanted to give absolute freedom to customers to [shop in a way that suits] their mood,” said Danon.

Printemps also has added 30 beauty brands, many of which are niche, to its roster, including Cle de Peau Beaute, Creation Mathias, Erno Laszlo, Laura Mercier, Laura Tonatto, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Molton Brown, Paul & Joe and Place des Lices.

For more niche names, consumers also will be able to go to the 237-square-foot new Parfumerie Generale counter at Printemps. The specialty retailer is debuting its first corner in October at Printemps with a selection of small brands.

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