Space NK, the beauty destination found online and in stores in the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland, is entering Canada through a partnership with the Hudson’s Bay Co.
An array of indie, niche and premium brands for skin care, makeup and hair care sourced by Space NK launches today on thebay.com. Space NK shops will appear inside three Hudson’s Bay flagship stores in early October: Yorkdale, Montreal and Vancouver. The Space NK shops-in-shop will range from 550 to 1,000 square feet.
“Space NK is such a renowned beauty brand loved for so many years, and always pivoting and understanding what’s the next piece to deliver to consumer,” Jo Osborne, senior vice president of beauty at The Bay, told WWD. “This is a beauty game-changer for the Canadian consumer.”
On Aug. 20, Space NK’s chief executive officer Andy Lightfoot disclosed to WWD’s Beauty Inc that a deal with HBC had been struck. He also said another big North American partnership is in the works, which would be revealed early next year. In North America, Space NK currently has shops inside select Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom stores.
Asked if any Space NK sourced products were tested by The Bay, Osborne replied, “One hundred percent. For me, Sunday Riley is one of the greatest skin care brands that’s come into the market in the past few years. The texture and delivery are very of the moment.
“Also, you may have heard of Boy Smells, which offers a great selection of candles with stunning packaging. Similar to skin care, the candle and fragrance business has seen such rapid and strong growth over the past year.”
She said Space NK brings a special kind of spirit to the beauty world. “Beauty needs to be fun. With beauty, we need not take ourselves too seriously.”
While Space NK has been available online, Osborne said the distribution has been small in Canada, giving thebay.com and the Hudson Bay stores “the ability to platform” Space NK for greater exposure. TheBay.com operates Canada’s sixth largest e-commerce.
The partnership also calls for opening Space NK hair care “towers” in 25 Hudson’s Bay department stores across Canada. They’ll be stocked with a select line of hair care products from brands such as R+co, Virtue, Christophe Robin and Philip B. “Think of it as an emporium of incubated brands within a space we’re calling ‘beauty bar,'” Osborne said. The bar includes indie and luxury, and the hair care will appeal to all hair textures.
“While we are launching Space NK shops in three doors, we want this just to be the start,” Osborne said. “We want this to open in many more doors. There could something in Queen Street,” — the site of Hudson’s Bay’s Toronto flagship.
Between HBC and Space NK, it’s a wholesale relationship, which Space NK calls “wholesale-plus.” The Bay buys the products that are sourced by Space NK. Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s have also been shifting to more of a wholesale model, from a concession model with Space NK.
“Space NK is a natural fit,” said Osborne, citing quality and newness as the critical part of the appeal. “It allows us the opportunity to pivot in the ever-changing beauty world. We can be playful together.
“Beauty is very much about touch and feel,” Osborne said. During the pandemic, “When our stores were temporarily closed, absolutely, it was tough. But it’s great to see that rebound now. It’s great to see consumers online, they haven’t run away, but having product applied and smelling fragrances, being able to experience that in the stores, I think it’s really special.”
Noah Rosenblatt, Space NK’s president for North America, said in a statement, “Our ability to act as the ‘curator’ of some of the world’s most desired beauty brands uniquely places us to support the beauty businesses of our retail partners. The Bay’s customer profile and presence in the market make them the perfect partner to expand our department store business in Canada.”
The partnership includes skin care, hair care and makeup, with 17 brands never carried before by Hudson’s Bay, including Sunday Riley, Aesop, Tata Harper, Chantecaille and Boy Smells. There are plans to scale the partnership to include more brands in the coming months.
The partnership supports Hudson’s Bay efforts at recycling beauty packaging considering Space NK’s sustainability priorities. Hudson’s Bay is a member of the Pact Collective, the first not-for-profit recycling program dedicated to the beauty industry. The beauty industry generates an estimated 120 billion cosmetic packages annually — most made with virgin plastic and a very small percentage are successfully recycled.
With Hudson’s Bay Reward Points earned on every purchase, coupled with a free gift with purchase on qualifying orders of $150 or more (before taxes) while supplies last, Canadians can benefit from exclusive rewards when they shop the Space NK collection of brands.
The Hudson’s Bay stores and thebay.com marketplace operate as separate companies controlled by the Hudson Bay Co., which also operates Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th brands. Hudson’s Bay has 86 full-line locations.
The 25-year-old U.K.-based Space NK is found in 75 locations across the U.K. and Ireland, as well as online at spacenk.com.