Printemps unveils its new beauty store

The fragrance floor at Printemps' new beauty store

French department-store operator Printemps unveiled its new beauty area at its Paris flagship, which it describes as a different type of concept store.

The new beauty store, housed in the Printemps building that was formerly devoted to men’s fashion, covers three floors for a total of 3,000m2. The expansion of the space given to beauty at the store is expected to significantly increase the retailer’s business in this area. Currently beauty sales at the store amount to €55m and the aim is for this figure to double.

“The idea is to offer something fun, cool, energetic and fashionable, which is what beauty should be all about. We wanted to break away from the traditional department store, and break away from the old way of organizing space. Don’t call this a beauty hall, it is a concept store, where you can find fun, beautiful products – and even if they are considered mass-market or sold at places like [hypermarket chain] Auchan,” comments Printemps director of women’s fashion, beauty, lingerie and children Charlotte Tasset.

A key part of the concept was to challenge the brands with their merchandising units and services in a bid to offer something different. Tasset pointed out that a good example of this is the Thierry Mugler area, which includes a futuristic looking fragrance fountains.

Each of the three beauty floors is devoted to three different ways of consuming beauty. The basement level is described as a “giant bathroom”, and is devoted to services or what the retailer calls beauty breaks. It includes a Gloss’up Nail Bar, a MAC make-up studio, and a beauty bar for make-up classes. The floor is also home to a Coiffirst hair salon, offering quick hair styling and customized hair treatments, and a 100m2 Nuxe spa. A key feature of the lower level is L’Officine, an area that brings together alternative skincare brands, such as Absolution, Erborian, Ren and Tata Harper. Also on this floor is the Café Detox, offering healthy meals and juices.

The ground floor is devoted to what the company calls iconic brands, ‘it’ make-up brands and the  #Beautysta area. The #Beautysta area covers 120m2 located at one of the store’s two entrances, and is described as a section where the retailer can express its views on what it sees as the latest hit products, beauty innovations and must-have items.

For the rest of the floor Printemps’ aim was to convey a colorful, fashion-forward approach that is also interactive. It asked brands to put the focus on make-up and to offer interesting services, artistic installations and digital tools. For example, Lancôme offers lip art masterclasses and a Before the Party session on Thursday and Friday nights between 6.30pm and 8pm.

A noticeable absentee on this floor is Chanel, which was said to have put forward too many demands in terms of its space and how it was to be presented at the store.

The first floor is devoted entirely to fragrance and covers 1,000m2. It is intended to be an expansion of Printemps’ ‘Belle Parfumerie’ concept, which showcased niche brands.

The fragrance floor includes a perfume bar, where consumers are encouraged to touch bottles and find out more about scents. There is also La Scent Room, a concept Printemps initiated in 2011 with the aim of revealing new and interesting scents to the public. The Scent Room includes the Incubator, which showcases small houses that do not have the means to present their products in a large space in the store. It includes a round central table where consumers can interact with the fragrances.