Pure Beauty

How Space NK is planning ahead for the 'new normal'

Published: 1-Jun-2020

The premium beauty retailer's Chief Merchandising Officer discusses emerging trends and top sellers during the pandemic, and the business' strategy going forwards

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Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell

The Covid-19 pandemic has cast uncertainty across businesses from all sectors.

The beauty industry has so far weathered the storm by ramping up digital strategies, rolling out virtual consultations and tapping into consumer demand for hygiene and at-home products, but continues to face unpredictability as lockdown restrictions slowly ease.

In association with CEW UK, here Margaret Mitchell, Chief Merchandising Officer at Space NK, talks to Cosmetics Business about the unexpected beauty categories outperforming during the pandemic, and why the future might favour brands that speak to a broader purpose.

What does your role involve at Space NK?

As Chief Merchandising Officer for Space NK, I oversee our product selection, brand relationships, our inventory management and investment, and product & store team education.

How did you progress into the position you are in?

I have been a beauty junkie from the time I was a little girl, so it is no surprise to any of my friends or family that I’ve ended up in beauty.

However I started my career in management consulting where I learned so much about analytics, communication, stakeholder management, and problem solving.

It was great experience for my career, but when the opportunity came up to jump from consulting into a line role in beauty, it was an easy decision and I’ve never looked back!

How has the pandemic impacted consumers' buying habits and preferences?

As coronavirus came to the forefront in February and March, we saw Haircare and Bath & Body especially hand wash soar as people were stockpiling their favourite products in preparation for stores closing.

This trend has continued through April and May online, where we have also seen big increases in

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