Boots opens Covent Garden concept store with Instagram zone and YouTube studio
Boots opened its new store in Covent Garden on Thursday with the all-singing, all-dancing concept store coming at a time when the company is looking to close other, underperforming locations.
The new store, on the large site of a former M&S, has a modern, white marble beauty hall carrying over 300 brands and features customer-pleasing initiatives such as drinking water taps where shoppers can refill water bottles, plus automated dispensers to deliver repeat prescriptions. There’s also a YouTube beauty studio for video makeovers, and an Instagram zone.
Other eco-friendly initiatives include an area for refillable shampoos and in a nod to one fo the fastest-growing trends in health and beauty, there will also be CBD-based products on sale.
Some high street firsts in beauty include Josh Wood Colour Consultations and a La Roche-Posay skincare tool. Brands available include Fenty Beauty and Urban Decay, and the dedicated skincare zone carries BYBI and Skyn Iceland. Due to the rise in the popularity of masks, Boots has also launched its first ever Mask Bar. And a new beauty playground of trend zones, discovery areas and live demonstrations, are “crewed by brand agnostic Boots Beauty Specialists.”
UK MD Seb James said: “Our new Covent Garden store starts a journey of reinventing Boots for the future. The store is full of exciting beauty brands, ideas for living well and services to help you get better. We will learn what people love and want from this shop, and this will help us shape a blueprint for our whole 2,500-store estate.”
While the opening is part of a wider programme of store upgrades that have been going on for a while, the Covent Garden branch is a flagship example of the project.
The company is aiming to roll out the new look and feel to other stores, although it’s unclear how fast this will happen. So far, 26 stores have been made over under the new concept but the company’s sprawling store estate has been under-invested for many years with too many smaller stores in particular having been barely touched for decades.
James has said that elements of the Covent Garden upgrade will be replicated across the store estate as part of a future-proofing process for the chain and that the stores that have been given upgraded beauty halls already have shown encouraging results so far with premium beauty, in particular, getting a boost.
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