Local Liverpudlians, top Harvey Nichols executives and a handful of WAGs (‘wives and girlfriends’ of England’s top footballers) thronged an unveiling of the retailer’s unprecedented Beauty Bazaar store on November 9 here in Liverpool. American socialite Olivia Palermo cut a diamond-studded black ribbon to mark the occasion.
As the first-ever cosmetics-only offshoot of a major luxury retailer, the three-story, 22,000 square-foot emporium not only vends leading prestige brands but offers a host of treatment services as well as a glitzy champagne bar, dubbed ‘Wow.’
The Beauty Bazaar strategy has long been incubating, said Harvey Nichols’ CEO, Joseph Wan, at a 1930s-themed launch party. After concluding that beauty was the most “recession-resistant” category—the last in which women reined in spending during economic crises—the idea for a one-category store was born.
Extensive research also revealed that Liverpool would be the ideal launchpad for such a concept, being a port city with a glam-hungry populace that spends four times the national average—second only to London’s—on beauty products and treatments. “Considering all this, we thought, ‘We can’t just sit here,’” Wan said. “’We have to define opportunities for ourselves even in a recession.’”
Daniela Rinaldi, Harvey Nichols’ group concessions and beauty director, sees Beauty Bazaar as a return to the glamorous and experiential proposition of beauty retailing—following its erosion by a volatile economy and the emersion of more impersonal channels, such as online shopping.
“This is a game-changer, and a benchmark for beauty going forward,” she said, citing the assortment of treatments offered that increase consumer dwell time; the glitzy, jewel-inspired décor; and even little touches, like wolf-whistling restroom mirrors.
While teasing that “the concept has legs—both in other UK markets and internationally,” Rinaldi described Liverpool as Beauty Bazaar’s ideal springboard. With a rich history (as the birthplace of The Beatles) and stunning architecture, it is also home to beauty-obsessed women of all ages and races. Tanned, primped and polished within an inch of their lives, “we are giving them nothing less than they absolutely deserve,” she said.
As a trailblazer in the beauty category—Harvey Nichols was the first retailer to market with MAC, Shu Uemura, Trish McEvoy and Aveda in Europe—the company’s brazen ad campaigns also have a history of breaking boundaries and raising eyebrows. The Beauty Bazaar promotional effort has taken a similar tact, care of group press and marketing director, Julia Bowe. Touting the Twitter hashtag #LoveThyself, three racy ad images feature women in various makeup looks on the verge of kissing themselves.
“Because Beauty Bazaar represents self-indulgence and investment in being the best that you can be, we wanted to convey the idea that after visiting the store you could look and feel so good that you’d fall in love with yourself,” Bowe explained. Created alongside the adam&eveDDB agency and shot by Norbert Schoerner, an outdoor poster campaign broke in Liverpool on November 12 to coincide with the opening.
Provocative though its ads may be, the aesthetic Harvey Nichols sought for its Beauty Bazaar interiors was one of overt luxury and sophistication, said Chris Dewar-Dixon, founder and creative director of the Four IV agency, who designed the space. “It’s not about offers—it’s about opulence,” he quipped. Outdoor signage is faceted, like a jewel, as are angular gray shopping bags, Dewar-Dixon said, “to reflect the different facets of beauty within a woman.”
An atmosphere of interactivity pervades, with iPads stationed at the nail bar and the aforementioned champagne bar intended to “create a girly and chatty environment,” Dewar-Dixon said. While the ground floor comprises a traditional retail environment, the second floor will offer open
On its top level, reachable by an express elevator, more discrete and specialized treatments are performed. The Studio by James Read offers self-tanning services and products. The Karidis Medispa, by leading cosmetic surgeon Dr. Alex Karidis, further expands the traditional retail paradigm with more medically-oriented procedures, such as injectables, body contouring treatments and laser hair removal.
Alongside Read and Karidis, who were present at the opening, the diverse assortment of brands carried at the store also celebrated the event with gleaming new counter spaces and special offers:
Shiseido had hauled in its ‘magic mirror’—a simulating, touch screen device that allows users to virtually try on different makeup looks. Estée Lauder announced that, once a month, it would be hosting makeup and skin care workshops in the champagne bar. Chanel national makeup artist, Lisa Smith, was on hand, fresh off having created the looks backstage at Paris Fashion Week. Origins offered mini-facials; Aveda served detoxifying tea; Clinique vended Liverpool-exclusive, crystal-encrusted Chubby Sticks; and MAC performed touch-ups on the Liverpool-born UK starlet Danielle Lloyd.
Among the numerous brands carried at the store are: YSL, Tom Ford Beauty, NARS, La Mer, Shu Uemura, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone, Sisley, Laura Mercier, Bliss and Robert Piguet Parfums.
|Beauty Bazaar architects, Joseph Wan and
Daniela Rinaldi, of Harvey Nichols.
|Harvey Nichols’ Monica Goitiandia, Joseph Wan and Julia Bowe (r.) with Lesley Exley of Exley Harvey.||Harvey Nichols’ Daniela Rinaldi and
|Store designer Chris Dewar-Dixon of Four IV
in the champagne bar, ‘Wow.’
|Harvey Nichols’ Debbie Jones, Angela Lacey, Pat McInnes, Zahra Bishop and Hannah Phillips.||Harvey Nichols’ Anna Davidson and Julia Bowe (r.) with Paul Billingsby of adam&eveDDB.|
|Estée Lauder’s Gail Hilton, Roisin Carr
and Rose Kane.
|Chanel’s Caroline Davies and Lisa Smith.||Laura Mercier’s Kathy Murphy, Louise Bradshaw and Kelly Orma.|
|Bobbi Brown’s Hannah Jones and
|Shiseido’s Diane Wharier and Victoria Reeve.||Origins’ Abigail Wright, Charlie Anne Wingle, Rebecca Naylor and Kelly Hill.|
|Clinique’s Stephanie Day and Jane Chadwick.||Robert Piguet Parfums’ Joe Garces,
Nadia Humphreys and David Mellon.
|MAC’s Amy Reid, Rosanna Pattullo and
|Aveda’s Louise Wright, Marius Rusu and Rebecca Curtis-May.||Self-tanning artist to the stars, James Read of The Studio by James Read.||Deborah Vine and Dr. Alex Karidis of the Karidis Medispa.|
|Manicures, blowouts and other open treatments are performed on the second floor.|
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