John Lewis plugs £9 million into its beauty sector

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

John Lewis plugs £9 million into its beauty sector

Related tags Personal care Department store Cosmetics

British department store chain John Lewis has announced a multimillion pound investment into its beauty halls, with beauty now outselling fashion for the major UK retailer.

The company notes that cosmetics and personal care are now a major driver of its footfall, and that it has seen sales of the sector rise by a third in the past five years.

The GBP 9 million investment will go towards increasing the floorspace of the beauty halls of the company’s major branches, and will see the introduction of various new brands to the company’s offering, reportedly including MAC, Chanel, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Tom Ford Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury, Jo Malone, La Prairie and Urban Decay.

The new brands are also set to be offered online via the company’s ‘click & collect’ proposition, according to the Industry London​ media outlet.

Ambition in the space

John Lewis’s investment comes as a response to increasing consumer demand for beauty, and follows the opening of its first spa concept in its Birmingham store, and its work with Clarins on brand-specific beauty bar in the Oxford St, London branch last year.

Buying director for fashion and beauty, Ed Connolly, confirmed that the company is setting its sights on maximising beauty’s potential.

“Beauty is one of the best performing categories at John Lewis and a significant footfall driver, so this investment is a reflection of our ambition in this space,”​ he said.

“We are continuing to bring new and contemporary brands to our customers across both fashion and beauty, and we have one of the widest and best beauty selections of any department store in the world.”

Pitching it right: UK trends

According to market research firm Euromonitor International, the UK beauty and personal care market is seeing consumer choice increasing polarise between premium and mass market products, with John Lewis’s higher end offering catering to the enthusiasm for more pricey product offerings.

Premium beauty and personal care had another strong year in 2015, outperforming mass beauty and personal care in terms of annual current value growth,”​ the firm explains.

Pitching its beauty offering online as well as in store is also likely to serve the retailer well when catering for  an increasingly digitally savvy consumer base.

The ability to operate an omni-channel service through an entwined service of online and bricks and mortar is becoming increasingly important, particularly in order to attract younger digital natives,”​ Euromonitor explains of current trends in the UK.

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