LONDON — British retailer Flannels has been on a gentle development trajectory within the final 5 years, weathering the pandemic higher than lots of its retail friends within the U.Okay.
Part of its success system? Bringing the buzziest luxurious and modern vogue labels to regional U.Okay. cities and tending to these areas’ fashion-savvy buyers, who’ve traditionally been underserved — for merely selecting to dwell outdoors London.
Now, the corporate is venturing into magnificence for the primary time to construct on its success, with a brand new retail idea and three places within the cities of Leicester, Sheffield and Liverpool.
“We’ve proved our concept and the fact that the consumer really does exist in regional cities, they are just not being served in a modern, forward-thinking way. That’s what we want to apply now to the beauty category,” mentioned Michael Murray, the retailer’s head of elevation.
Not solely does Murray wish to make one of the best of magnificence extra accessible to regional audiences — the concept is to supply established labels like Chanel and Dior, subsequent to specialty manufacturers and hyped-up digital names like Patrick Ta — but in addition provide a brand new, extra trendy bodily retailer expertise.
“There’s a reason why beauty halls are closing all around the world because the concept is dead — it’s a dying business model. So we’ve really ripped up the rule book and put the consumer first with a multibrand approach,” mentioned Murray.
This signifies that Flannels’ magnificence specialists can be promoting throughout all of the completely different manufacturers on provide, serving to clients choose what’s finest for them as a substitute of sitting behind particular person manufacturers’ counters.
“The specialist can walk you around all of the different areas, counters and brands, and then create a look that suits you with no brand bias,” mentioned Murray.
There can even be a magnificence bar on the store ground, the place clients can sit, sip a glass of champagne and check out the merchandise on the bar’s ever-changing menu. The concept is to make the expertise extra “interactive” and create alternatives for model takeovers, events, magnificence tutorials and extra.
Local magnificence therapists can even have the ability to use the sweetness bar as their model of a “hot desk” and begin treating shoppers from the Flannels store ground.
“I wanted to allow brands the chance to build close relationships with the consumers, and get them to discover more about their products and stories. We’ve got a very exciting calendar with brand events and expect this to be a huge hit with regional customers, driving that in-store engagement,” added Murray.
There are additionally transportable fee methods and digital screens dotted across the new area, which is able to enable the retailer to focus on social content material inside its bodily areas.
“We are a digital-first business so everything we do in the physical store has to have an online presence, too,” mentioned Murray. “There’s a whole digital content strategy in stores with screens that make it very easy to host brand takeovers, change content quickly and react to trends.”
According to the corporate, magnificence manufacturers shortly jumped on board and there are a selection of exclusives within the work, with the likes of Patrick Ta, one of many magnificence world’s largest Instagram personalities. He has turned his 2.2 million following right into a burgeoning make-up enterprise.
“The beauty industry has been starved of forward-thinking and innovative business models. That’s why, I think brands have been holding back and just going online for the last few years. But they welcomed our concept with open arms because we are literally investing huge sums of money on new concepts like cross-selling,” mentioned Murray.
But it is going to be effectively well worth the funding, in a saturated panorama the place “everybody’s going online” and retailers must have a powerful level of distinction and provide manufacturers alternatives to boost their methods and join with new audiences.
The plan is to open three extra places within the subsequent 12 months, and as much as 10 to fifteen extra doorways in the long run, with the main focus being on regional cities.
“We have to be adding value to a city which is currently underserved. London is over-served, so we are not looking at opening beauty in London. That’s the main reason why we chose to start with Liverpool, Sheffield and Leicester: They’re huge cities with a very fashion-focused consumer and demographic which has just been severely underserved for the last few decades. That’s where the opportunity lies: Focusing on that consumer and bringing the best of London to their doorstep,” he added.