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Marc Jacobs Beauty Expands U.K. Presence

The company has partnered with John Lewis for nationwide distribution slated for Sept. 1.

LONDONMarc Jacobs Beauty has partnered with John Lewis for nationwide distribution slated for Sept. 1.

Created by Jacobs and beauty brand developer Kendo, the brand entered the U.K. market earlier this year. The full range of color cosmetics and makeup brushes will be sold at select John Lewis stores and web site with plans to expand into other locations, including Bluewater, Cambridge, Birmingham Cribbs Causeway and Bristol later this year.

The move is part of a global rollout plan to expand the beauty brand’s presence in the U.K. The brand has noted that the U.K. has been an important part of the brand’s strategy.

“The feedback has been phenomenal in terms of how much the U.K. market was awaiting the launch of Marc Jacobs, and in addition to that, the response to the product has been fantastic,” Marc Jacobs Beauty global vice president and general manager Catherine Gore told WWD. “Particularly on Velvet Noir mascara, Gel Highliner — which is synonymous with the rest of the globe, and of course the Le Marc collection.”

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Harrods was the initial launch partner in the U.K. and Gore notes that they are “very comfortable and confident in the two retailers” the brand has chosen with plans on maximizing their partnerships.

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“John Lewis’ philosophy on beauty and on quality is really in line with the Marc Jacobs Beauty philosophy,” said Gore. “It also allows the Marc brand to align with John Lewis, and launch outside of London and throughout the U.K..”

The launch will be promoted with a range of in-store consumer events at select John Lewis stores, a bespoke media campaign — including a window showcase at the Oxford Street flagship — in-store artwork, print advertising and digital campaigns.

Earlier this month, the British retailer infused a sum of 9 billion pounds, or $11.8 billion at current exchange, into in its in-store beauty hall and product range in an effort to “supercharge its beauty business.” The investment will fund several store refurbishments with the addition of new brands that will join the existing lineup.

“We launched the [Marc Jacobs Beauty] line last week and already, it’s up there with the very best of the brands we stock so I’m really excited by it,” John Lewis’ commercial director Paula Nickolds told WWD. “We haven’t yet done any marketing. It’s been a soft launch online — so there’s no marketing, there’s no blogging, there’s no video content to date and it’s gone off like a rocket train. So as soon as it hits the shops, it will be — I’m sure — one of our best-selling brands.”

Nickolds noted that the British retailer is focusing on the customer experience within the beauty halls. “We’re modernizing our beauty halls, yet making them accessible, so that they’re not the intimidating places for many women,” added Nickold. “For some people it’s quite an intimidating experience. So we want to help bring it together and help people navigate brands and understand what brands stand for, which type of things, which is the most appropriate thing for you, and then help you to find your way through. So we’re really excited about that.”

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