PARIS — Old England has put a new face on its beauty department.
The French department store, which specializes in traditional English apparel, recently unveiled an updated and larger cosmetics floor here. The beauty space at the flagship, located on Boulevard des Capucines, now occupies 1,076 square feet — an area five times larger than the former space. The store’s total floor space is 21,600 square feet.
Executives said a larger concept was created to build on increasing customer demand for beauty products, which spurred a 20 percent spike in the category’s sales in 2005 versus the prior year.
“Old England is not just about cashmere jumpers,” said Olivier Mancini, retail director of the store, adding beauty represents about 8 percent of Old England’s turnover. “I’ve got customers now who come here just for toiletries and fragrance and you see them come straight to that section. I don’t remember seeing that even three years ago.”
To maintain momentum, the store wants to pique customers’ interest with brands from France and the U.S., as well as the U.K.
“We want to bring new products to our clients,” said Patricia Vors, manager of the store’s fragrance division, referring to a new strategy to carry brands that are not exclusively English.
New arrivals on the beauty floor this year include Parfums Delrae, of San Francisco.
Another innovation will be in-store events. The store began hosting workshops, private consultations and personal appearances by brand creators and perfumers last month.
The renovated space boasts a mélange of antique-style wooden shelving, traditional glass presentation boxes and modern metal units, each adapted to the brands they display, against a backdrop of high ceilings, white pillars and a deep red floor.
Products offered range from traditional brands such as Penhaligons, which has been carried by Old England since the Nineties, to more recent arrivals, including French fragrance brand The Different Company and Kao-owned prestige brand Molton Brown.
Among fixtures at the store is Miller Harris, the London fragrance firm founded by husband-and-wife team Christophe Michel and Lyn Harris. The brand’s black metal counter displays its 46-unit collection, which includes 17 fragrances, as well as limited-edition scents, shower gels, body lotions and candles.
“It’s great [having enough space] to be able to represent the brand,” said Michel. The brand has been present in Old England since 2004 and now ranks as the third best-selling beauty brand there, behind Penhaligons and Floris.
Compagnie Financière Richemont SA, the Swiss luxury goods firm, sold Old England SA to Tercade SA, a holding company controlled by Olivier Goldberg, for an undisclosed sum in March this year.