LONDON — London’s Covent Garden is brimming with ever more beauty brands as the neighborhood — and especially the heritage covered market building and its surrounding piazza — becomes a haven of premium labels known officially as the Covent Garden Beauty Quarter.
Armani Box and Atelier Cologne have recently joined brands such as Burberry Beauty Box, Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury, Dior and Nars. Labels set to launch in the beauty quarter include Canadian beauty company Deciem — which is due to open in the next month — and Tom Ford Beauty, which will open in September.
Beverley Churchill, creative director at Capco, the estate agent that looks after Covent Garden, said that the area has evolved relatively quickly due to a number of factors. “It’s about variety experiences and exclusives,” said Churchill. “We have 33 stand-alone fragrance and beauty boutiques. The fact [that] we are street retail and we have piazzas means brands can spill out. We can create moments for people — we have permanently rotating selfie spots.”
In terms of exclusives she said the brands have been good at offering products or experiences to attract shoppers. “The main difference between a beauty hall and a [shopping] quarter is that you get to immerse yourself in the brand’s environment,” she added. “We’ve all done a beauty hall, and having my makeup done made me feel very exposed. When you have your makeup done in a private store, people come in for that experience.”
You May Also Like
While she could not disclose figures, she said the beauty quarter has “performed incredibly well,” adding that the volume of customers and accessibility of the price points has meant there’s been greater footfall density “across the board.”
The Armani Box pop-up features work by the Italian artist Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba, who has re-created a gorilla figure named Uri — which took its cue from the sculpture in the Milan store, while the interiors of the pop-up are done in red. Customers can book an appointment to have their makeup done by an Armani face designer. They can also personalize their makeup products with engraving.
The store — which spans two floors — offers customers a video of their makeovers, which can be shared digitally, while a photo booth has also been installed for selfies. The store carries a range of products, from makeup to skincare, with the focus on the engaged Millennial. Prices range from 28 pounds, or $36, for a lipstick to 230 pounds, or $296, for a Privé fragrance.
The 1,437-square foot multibrand Deciem store will be designed with a “hip, industrial vibe” and carry products from Fountain, Niod, The Ordinary, HIF, Stemm, AB Crew, Hylamide and The Chemistry Brand. The price range is 3.90 pounds or $5.02 for salicylic acid from The Ordinary to 130 pounds, or $167, for Copper Amino Isolate Serum 5% from Niod.
Charlotte Tilbury retail director and general manager of Europe Tracey Mann said that for her brand, the Covent Garden Beauty Quarter draws a high proportion of tourists — more than 50 percent — as well as local shoppers and domestic tourists interested in experiencing the flagship store products and technology.
“The Covent Garden boutique attracts those wanting to replenish product, plus a high volume of tourists keen to experience Charlotte Tilbury makeup and skin care for the first time,” said Mann. “Our most popular products are the Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette and Matte Revolution lipsticks, with Charlotte’s new Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask performing really well — especially as an ‘over makeup’ product.”
“New and exclusive products always do well,” she added. “With our new Dry Sheet Mask and Pillow Talk lipstick being the most asked about products. Overall, the Covent Garden customer is social media savvy and up to date with all the latest beauty and fashion trends. The Covent Garden boudoir offers a far more intense and customized experience, with customers taking their time choosing which premium skin care and protection is right for them. This is the type of custom that helps generate a real buzz around in store events, with high numbers pre-booking to attend our experiences.”
Churchill said beauty will continue to be a big focus for Capco and it is planning to launch a beauty zone, a new take on the classic promotional beauty weeks organized by department stores.