“The beauty destination of the future”: Inside Selfridges new beauty hall

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

Image credits: Andrew Meredith
Image credits: Andrew Meredith

Related tags retail beauty tech Cosmetics

London department store Selfridges has just reopened its world-famous beauty hall after a 12-month renovation. We explore what has changed and why the iconic retailer decided it was time for a revamp...

The heritage retailer has even celebrated the opening with a special marketing campaign called Big City Beauty, which was shot by photographer and filmmaker, Sam Youkilis. ​​

Selfridges Beauty Hall​ now stocks over 300 different beauty brands – 50 of which are exclusive to the retailer.

The revamped space offers 200 different beauty services and houses over 1,000 beauty experts. It’s also set to host around 150 beauty pop ups every year, given the beauty consumer's ever-growing love of popups​ and novel experiences. ​

Every detail has been considered in the refurbishment. There’s a bespoke lighting system for optimal shade matching and colour consultations; a​ ‘quiet hour’ on Wednesday mornings for shoppers who want a more peaceful experience, plus a programme of beauty events will be held each weekend throughout June.

There is also a Beauty Spot to showcase more experimental beauty retail concepts, which is currently home to an exclusive residency from REFY Beauty.

Sustainability has also been a focus and Selfridges has pledged for all of the beauty brands to incorporate refill options into their counters by 2025 (there are currently​ 2,500 refill options from 74 brands available).

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The beauty destination of the future

Selfridges’ lifestyle director David Legrande shared more about the new and purposeful design.

“Our new architecture is game-changing, prioritising sight lines for clear views, better navigation, and enhanced accessibility,” he explained.

Legrande added that the team was "united in its vision to create the beauty destination of the future.”

Meanwhile Selfridges head of beauty Melissa McGinnis called the new hall a “beauty destination for everyone.”

“Through a renovation that prioritises customer experience and platforming the world’s most exciting brands, we are ready to welcome the next 100 years of beauty innovation, and the communities that will make it happen,” she said.

Selfridges has long been a must-visit beauty destination in London, as well as in its other more recently opened UK locations: in Birmingham and Manchester.

In 2023 – even before the revamp – the retailer sold more than 10 million litres of fragrance, which is enough to fill four Olympic swimming pools. But the beauty consumer is ever more demanding in terms of technology and personalisation, so it was time to bring the centenarian retailer into the future.

However, the beauty hall renovation has still taken care to reflect the store’s iconic 1909 ‘Beaux Arts façade’, with its classical columns and high ceilings.

According to Selfridges, it was the first-ever department store to house beauty on the ground floor and every major global department store copied this. In fact, it said that this was how the original store founder Harry Gordon Selfridge created an instant energy and buzz straight across the threshold of the store.

In the main hall, the retailer said that "sight lines have been prioritised to allow clear views and better navigation and accessibility" and there are a grand total of 35 15ft-tall decorative columns defining the space. ​

The addition of a new state-of-the-art LED lighting scheme gives the perfect lighting to test out colour cosmetics and to also help products look their best on-counter.

resized 1 SELFRIDGES BEAUTY HALL JUNE 2024  - shot by Andrew Meredith (2)

New brands, cutting-edge beauty tech & ultra-personalisation

New counters include Charlotte Tilbury, Pat McGrath Labs, Hourglass, Dior, Tom Ford, MFK, Prada, Loewe, Jo Malone, and Aesop, which are joining the exclusive flagships of Victoria Beckham Beauty, Rabanne Beauty, Valentino, Dries Van Noten and Burberry.  ​

Cutting-edge new beauty-tech offerings include skin diagnostics and decoding from Estée Lauder, Lancôme and Prada; La Mer Treatment Pods, An Armani Glow Bar, virtual try-on and mini masterclasses at Charlotte Tilbury.

There is also a host of personalisation and gift services – from bespoke fragrance blending to product customisation through to engraving, embossing and UV printing, as well as options to accessorise products with stickers and charms at MAC and Jo Malone. ​

The Beauty Workshop offers a suite of expert hair, nail, brow and skin services, and there is also a menu of beauty services that includes consultations for colour, skin and fragrance, and on-counter treatments.

There is even a ‘Beauty Concierge’ – where customers can book appointments, masterclasses and seek out expert advice across every brand. Plus there's a team of eight 'artist-experts' – who between them speak over 20 languages – to offer advice and insider knowledge across all of Selfridges’ beauty brands.

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