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Liberty’s New Take on Beauty
LONDON — Liberty department store unveiled a new cosmetics department concept here Saturday.

The beauty space features separate areas dedicated to treatment and cosmetics, fragrance and bath, and body and home products. It is located on the ground floor of the Tudor-style boutique; part of Liberty’s former beauty department had been in a connecting building that is no longer part of the store.

The beauty department revamp is part of a larger renewal program that has been going on in Liberty’s men’s and women’s wear departments, according to Angela Creasy, the store’s perfumery buyer.

The three beauty areas branch off from the store’s books and gift department.

Treatment and color cosmetics are displayed in a 2,000-square-foot section called Beauty. It was designed to encourage easy movement, with large isles between displays.

“The brief was for a unisex, comfortable environment, which promotes the pleasure of shopping,” said Creasy. “People come here for an experience and for the beautiful building. After all, shopping is supposed to be a pleasure, not hard work.”

Products — from brands such as Ren, Kiehl’s, N.V. Perricone, Calmia, Stila and Nars — are presented on marble-topped counters, which are against numerous pillars. The counters, meant to resemble chests, feature drawers for storing products. Some tall cabinets are also used as display units.

There is a treatment room so customers may try out brands’ latest products. It had formerly been a private area where people could try on high-end jewelry, and still features a safe and Art Deco décor.

Scents, including eaux by Annick Goutal, Prada and Chanel, are located in the Fragrance room, a 500-square-foot space decked out with wall-mounted shelving. A central table is used to display promotions, and a love seat is meant to encourage shoppers to spend time choosing their scents.

“Fragrance is about opulence and luxury,” said Creasy, pointing to a dome in the space’s ceiling that is painted with a night scene, and decorated with gold details and a chandelier, which is intended to give a sense of prestige.

This story first appeared in the March 8, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Body and Soul, housing Liberty’s bath, body and home beauty products, is located in what used to be the store’s chocolate shop. The 650-square-foot space has been converted to create an apothecary feel. Products are displayed on a large black shelving unit running against a wall, as well as on central tables.

Body and Soul’s brand lineup includes Floris, Burn and I Coloniali.

A second bath and body space, featuring products for more day-to-day needs, is located on an upper floor of the store, next to bed linen.

“[Body and Soul] downstairs is more gift-driven,” noted Creasy.

Liberty executives declined to discuss figures, but industry sources estimate the new beauty floor will generate first-year sales of 3.5 million pounds, or $6.1 million at current exchange.

Now that the beauty department overhaul is complete, Creasy hopes it will be a hit among the store’s style-savvy shoppers.

“Our customer base is very design- and style-driven,” she said. “They don’t expect us to just paint a room white.”
Brid Costello

Marionnaud Donates to Women’s Charity
PARIS — Parfumeries Marionnaud is donating 2 euros, or $2.40 at current exchange rates, for every purchase made in its stores today — International Women’s Day — to the French charity National Federation of Female Solidarity. The A.S. Watson-owned perfumery chain, based here, expects to raise at least 80,000 euros, or $96,000, in its 560 doors across France.

“This is not a one-shot commercial venture,” said Laure Browne, Marionnaud’s marketing director, adding the chain will support another charity event in November. “Marionnaud is committed to continuing activities to support the causes that affect women.”
Ellen Groves

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