Shiseido The Store

TOKYO — After several months of renovations, Shiseido will on Friday re-open its flagship store in the upscale Tokyo neighborhood of Ginza. Previously called Shiseido The Ginza, the shop will now be called Shiseido The Store, and will place a greater emphasis on the company’s prestige brands.

“This location is the site where Shiseido’s cosmetics business was first established, “ said Masahiko Uotani, president and chief executive officer of the company. “In 1916, the second generation (company leader), Shinzo Fukuhara, started a full-scale cosmetics business here. It’s a place that holds a very important meaning for Shiseido.”

When the previous incarnation of the store opened in 2011, there was an emphasis on cutting-edge technologies that helped customers to choose the best colors of makeup for their skin tone without having to test the products themselves. The first floor of the store used to be a sampling area for Shiseido’s many brands, ranging from prestige to drugstore offerings. While it was often buzzing with customers, it sometimes felt crowded and chaotic.

Now, when customers enter the store at street level, they will immediately sense its more luxury feel. Focusing only on Shiseido’s prestige brands—currently, Cle de Peau Beauté and Shiseido—it has a more open layout than the previous store. It also looks more luxurious, thanks to design by Oki Sato of Nendo and Keita Aono of Onndo. The floor is covered in custom-made gray tiles in the shape of camellia flowers, which have long represented Shiseido.

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Customers looking upward will also see the company’s camellia logo on the ceiling in shadows and light, thanks to innovative hanging fixtures and strategically-placed lights. In addition to the sampling and counseling areas, there is also a styling bar on the first floor, where customers can have quick hair and makeup services.

The second floor has displays where customers can try out products by many additional Shiseido brands, including Playlist, Prior, Benefique, Elixir, Shiseido Men, and Serge Lutens. There’s also a large counselling space and booths called “beauty up cabins.” These are private rooms used for more detailed skin care counseling and product trials.

Shiseido The Store’s third floor is dedicated to specialist services. There is a hair and makeup salon that charges 12,000 yen for one hour of professional hair styling and makeup application by two stylists. Next door is a small photo studio that offers various portrait packages. For 24,500 yen, customers can get an hour of hair and makeup, followed by a one-hour portrait session.

On the same floor is also the Espace Cle de Peau Beauté, a luxury spa offering various facial and body treatments. Prices range from 20,000 yen for a 70-minute express treatment to 44,000 yen for a treatment lasting more than two hours.

The biggest changes are on the store’s fourth floor, which will be home to a new café and event space called Shiseido The Tables. It opens on Feb. 1. In addition to serving light food and drinks, the company plans to use the space for beauty seminars, workshops and other events. Also on the fourth floor is a smaller room where beauty lessons will be held.

At a press event Thursday to mark the store’s opening, Shiseido also unveiled new staff uniforms, designed by Yu Amatsu.

Uotani declined to provide an investment figure for the new store, but said with a laugh that it was “a lot.” The store is the latest move Shiseido has made in an ongoing push to become a more global company.

Shiseido The Ginza was a popular stop on the shopping itineraries of tourists, especially from China and elsewhere in Asia. Shiseido The Store will presumably be no different, and the company has hired English and Chinese speaking staff and interpreters to respond to the needs of increasingly international customers.

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