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Inside the “Shopping Destination of the Future”: Selfridges' Revamped Beauty Hall

Published June 9, 2024
Published June 9, 2024

Since opening in the early 1900s, Selfridges has embodied a commitment to inclusivity and diversity, as reflected by its tagline, “Everyone is welcome.” The retailer’s particularly strong beauty lineup, alongside its outstanding customer service, has led to billions of successful sales, cementing the department store as an iconic shopping destination in the UK for over 100 years. For beauty lovers, Selfridges Beauty Hall is a playground full of opportunity to discover new brands and SKUs, as well as a go-to spot for product restocks.

The space, which has only been renovated a handful of times since the shopping giant opened its doors, has just undergone a 12-month-long, multimillion pound revamp, and is sure to please regular customers while enticing several new ones. The newly decorated Beauty Hall offers over 300 brands, including Charlotte Tilbury, Dior, and Prada, as well as 50 new exclusive-to-Selfridges offerings (such as Victoria Beckham Beauty), with prices starting from as little as £6 for a lipstick, to £2,500 for a rare fragrance.

The renovated hall is described as “future-proofed” by the retailer, yet remains true to its roots, reflecting the original Beauty Hall's Beaux Arts architecture, with emphasis on symmetry and classical details on a grandiose scale.

The rebuild has made room for state-of-the art features, including LED lighting programs that ensure product shades and skin tones can be correctly viewed in the space, and sight lines to promote better navigation around the store. Thirty-seven sustainably made counters are spread across the floor, with each including a dedicated space for large digital-content displays and concepts. Other future-forward features consist of skin diagnostics sessions from Estée Lauder, treatment pods provided by La Mer, an Armani Glow Bar, and makeup masterclasses at Charlotte Tilbury.

The future-forward vision for the Beauty Hall also includes plans to up the ante with sustainability efforts. As part of Selfridges sustainability initiative, named Reselfridges, a target for 45% of transactions to come from circular services and products by 2030 has been put in place. Currently, 74 brands stocked in the Beauty Hall offer over 2,500 refill options, with the aim for all brands to incorporate some form of refill option into their counters by 2025.

“Our new architecture is game-changing, prioritizing better navigation and enhanced accessibility,” said David Legrand, Lifestyle Director at Selfridges. “This unique and vibrant destination has come to life thanks to the determination and passion of our dedicated team of experts, all united in our vision to create the beauty destination of the future.”

The reopening of the Beauty Hall perfectly encapsulates the dedication Selfridges has to ensuring every customer feels seen and heard. Now, consumers can select options from a menu of 10 beauty services to indulge in, from a Beauty Bag Makeover personal shopping option, to a guided tour of the beauty floor, available in over 20 languages from varying beauty expert staff. Customers can also engage in personalization and gift services, including bespoke fragrance blending and building, and product customization such as UV printing, embossing, and engraving.

The department store is going one step further with its aim to cater to the needs of different types of customers, and has also introduced “Quiet Wednesdays” from 10-11am weekly. This shopping session ensures all music is turned off and a less busy and overstimulating shopping experience is created for those who desire it, particularly aimed towards consumers with additional needs and sensory sensitivities.

“Selfridges is the beauty destination for everyone,” says Melissa McGinnis, Head of Beauty at Selfridges. “Through a renovation, which prioritizes 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."

The renovation of the shop floor comes alongside the retailer's newest permanent destination for experimental retail concepts such as pop-ups. The Beauty Spot will allow a series of exclusive temporary brand takeovers, beginning with a four-month partnership with cosmetics brand Refy. To mark the significance of the partnership, Refy has exclusively launched its latest summer colors for products, featuring limited-edition versions of its best-selling Cream Blush, Lip Blush, and Lip Gloss in two new shades Papaya and Guava.

“Our new architecture is game-changing, prioritizing better navigation and enhanced accessibility.”
By David Legrand, Lifestyle Director, Selfridges

"We’re so grateful to be the first brand in the Selfridges Beauty Spot. One of our key brand values is community first, and The Beauty Spot has given us the chance to fully immerse our customer into the Refy World,” said Jess Hunt, co-founder of Refy. “We have an exciting summer full of brand-new product launches and the creative will be ever-changing as we move through the seasons. We’re redefining the retail experience and inviting our community to truly be a part of our Refy World."

Fenty Beauty has also made its debut into Selfridges as part of the renovation, revealing the Golden Hour pop-up, which nods to the brand's honeycomb-shaped packaging, created in collaboration with Backlash Creative. The glowing gold pop-up offers customers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the brand beyond a normal shopping experience, as well as shop for exclusive products including the Bronze All Ova range. The temporary shop-in-shop perfectly resonates with the Beauty Hall’s new aesthetic, with a focus on symmetry and engravings.

Aarron Taylor, Design Director and co-founder of the experiential agency Backlash, described the collaboration as “a fantastic project to be involved in, [with a] design that has been uniquely created for the Selfridges launch.” The activation is the only retail design execution of its kind globally for the brand, which recently launched its first-ever pop-up shop in China.

To spread the word of the newly refurbished Beauty Hall, while also bringing attention to other Selfridges stores across the UK, the retailer has launched the Big City Beauty campaign. The marketing effort spotlights the London, Manchester, and Birmingham beauty communities through a campaign shot by photographer and filmmaker Sam Youkilis, consisting of vignette images that draw a comparison between city life and everyday beauty routines. Examples include  models of differing ages and backgrounds, with captions such as “roll on Friday” above a young woman with rollers in strolling the city, and “paint the town red” alongside an image of an older woman applying a red lipstick.

By modernizing the Beauty Hall with innovative design and sustainable practices, Selfridges is furthering the ongoing competitive narrative in British retail. Not only is the retailer ensuring a focus on inclusive and accessible beauty, it is also answering the calls for sustainability made by many consumers, as well as offering exclusive brands that cannot be accessed elsewhere. This proactive approach not only enhances the customer experience but also positions Selfridges as a leader in the industry, setting new standards for how beauty retail can adapt to contemporary values and preferences.


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