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All Eyes North: SpaceNK Opens Second Manchester Outlet

Published May 6, 2024
Published May 6, 2024

Northern England has become a popular destination for beauty retailers looking to expand their footprint. Already home to retailers including H Beauty, Boots, and Superdrug, the area has recently seen an increase in big beauty names setting up shop. In the past six months, Sephora has announced plans to open three new regional stores, one in Manchester and two in Newcastle.

The demand for UK beauty shopping destinations is clear. Sarah Boyd, Managing Director of Sephora, stated that consumers have been "screaming out" for stores outside of London, with most requesting locations in the north. Continuing the competition to become a consumer favorite, SpaceNK has revealed a plan to open a second flagship store in Manchester.

The flagship will be located at the famous Trafford Centre shopping mall and will offer 130 popular brands, including Rare Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury, and Drunk Elephant.

"SpaceNK adds to our exceptional retail offering and further solidifies our position as a premier shopping destination in the UK," says Russell Loveland, UK Asset Manager for The Trafford Centre. "With its unparalleled assortment of beauty brands and commitment to customer satisfaction, SpaceNK's presence will undoubtedly enhance the shopping experience for our visitors."

The retailer promises an immersive experience in every corner of the store. The location will include over 18 makeup gondolas and 300 shelves, with several beauty experts on hand to guide shoppers through their commerce journey. The space will also be home to special brand-focused events and pop-ups.

"We are delighted to announce a second store location in Manchester. With our customer at the heart of everything we do, it was important for us to have a strong presence in the city, making us accessible to all," adds Andy Lightfoot, CEO of SpaceNK. "The Trafford Centre is a world renowned shopping destination, so is the perfect location to bring everything that SpaceNK has to offer to visitors."

The Trafford Centre flagship announcement follows shortly after plans for a different flagship in Manchester Arndale shopping center were unveiled back in March. The 3,313-square-foot store has been signed to a 10-year lease and is expected to see high traffic in the years to come. Manchester Arndale saw footfall increase by 6.3% with over 46 million visitors during 2023, as occupancy grew to over 95%.

The news comes after rumors that SpaceNK owners Manzanita Capital (which have owned the assets since 2002) were looking for bankers to sell the retailer for up to £400 million ($506.4 million). Just a week after the rumors began to surface, it was confirmed that Manzanita Capital had selected Raymond James investment bank to handle the auction, but no word of potential buyers has yet been disclosed.

In tandem with the Manchester flagship stores, SpaceNK is also opening two new stores—one in Southampton and another in Dublin—which could be why Manzanita Capital is looking to sell. As speculated by BeautyMatter President and co-founder John Cafarelli, "A possibility is that SpaceNK has a plan for a very aggressive new store rollout, and Manzanita wants to share the capital burden of such a plan with a partner on a minority or majority basis."

Although no official date has been revealed, the retail destination is set to open its doors this summer and will be going head-to-head with Sephora, which will see its first day of trading at the Trafford Centre on May 16. Similar to what happened in London last year, the two retailers will be pulling out all the stops to reap a higher percentage of customers. According to Statista, 43% of consumers in the UK have a brand awareness of Sephora, while a slightly lower 32% have knowledge of SpaceNK, showing room for upwards growth for the latter retailer.

Beyond expanding consumer choice, retail expansions in the north of England will also foster economic growth, create job opportunities, and ignite a culture of beauty innovation outside of the country's capital. As SpaceNK continues its national expansion, an eager new crowd of beauty shoppers awaits.


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