Harrods pushes on with second H Beauty store opening despite lockdowns

Harrods expects to open its second dedicated beauty store in the spring

Harrods is pushing on with its plans to open a new H Beauty store outside the UK capital this spring.

The outlet was due to welcome customers in the autumn of 2020 at House of Fraser’s former Milton Keynes site, but further restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic hindered progress.

While no date has been set by the luxury retailer for the store's reveal, anecdotal evidence says windows at the site feature ‘opening soon’ posters, while a recruitment drive has begun for staff, according to Fashion Network.

However, the Knightsbridge-based retailer, helmed by Michael Ward, was able to go ahead with the opening of its debut H Beauty store at the Intu Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, UK, in September last year.

The 23,000sqft space was described as a ‘game-changing’ destination for beauty and hopes to attract consumers outside of London to the retailer.

At the time of opening, Harrods’ Director of Beauty, Fine Jewellery & Watches and Home, Annalise Fard, described the new destination as a “significant addition to the beauty landscape”.

She added: “I see beauty as the entry point into luxury and it’s very exciting to be able to take the excitement and engagement for beauty and really deliver it to a customer on a wider platform.”

At the Essex shopping outlet Harrods’ is offering in-store services, including a facial area Skincare Station, virtual try-on make-up mirrors and a blow dry and make-up demo space.

Meanwhile, consumers will be hoping to utilise H Beauty’s champagne bar and product personalisation service when non-essential retailers are allowed to reopen.

“H Beauty has really bold ambitions, but they’re ones that are entirely benefitting of this amazingly vibrant and dynamic category that is beauty and to have the opportunity to pair with equally vibrant and dynamic communities across the UK is nothing short of epic,” added Harrods’ Head of Beauty, Mia Collins.

Last year, Harrods was one of the many UK retailers to reduce its headcount in order to weather the storm of the pandemic.

In a note to colleagues, Ward said the decision to cut 10% of its workforce was made “with a heavy heart”.

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