Next opens first premium beauty halls, more to open soon
Next has taken a giant new step forward in its business development with the clothing-to-homewares retailer opening its first two premium beauty halls. The new stores have opened in former Debenhams sites at Intu Watford and Intu Milton Keynes.
While Next already has an online presence in premium beauty, this new chain should radically expand that presence and help its growth drive in a tough UK market.
The company also plans to open a beauty hall at Intu Metrocentre and in three Hammerson malls, all of the planned stores also being in converted Debenhams sites as the department stores operator continues to close stores.
The fact that it’s opening in ex-Debenhams locations illustrates its ambitions for the category as these are large spaces. Although the floor space is shared with Next’s interiors offer and the stores are actually called Next Beauty & Home, the beauty halls are very big. The complete offer in the stores includes beauty, homewards, furnishings, a café, and women’s accessories, nightwear and lingerie.
But it’s the beauty aspect that’s key as the firm seeks a larger presence in major growth categories. The UK health and beauty market is predicted by GlobalData to grow 8.8% by 2024 with a value increase of £2 billion.
Next isn’t the only retailer seeking to tap into that growth with Harrods having recently opened its own H Beauty standalone premium beauty store at Intu’s lakeside mall.
And as well as underlining the importance of upscale beauty, both the Harrods and Next developments signal a vote of confidence in physical shopping and in Intu’s malls, despite the parent company’s struggles this year.
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