One in three beauty retailers want to add health services to their in-store portfolio

New research found half of millennials are happy to share their DNA for a better shopping experience

With a new focus on health and wellbeing, more retailers than ever before are considering adding health services and experiences to their in-store spaces.

According to a new study by real estate giant Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW), the owners of Westfield shopping centres, 27% of retailers in the beauty sector would like to add services, such as a GP or opticians to their bricks-and-mortar destinations, while some 32% of health and wellness retailers would expand their health offering.

This could prove to be a successful in-store resource as the groups’ findings revealed nearly half of millennials would be happy to share their DNA for a better shopping experience.

The news comes on the back of an uptick in consumers’ concerns about health and wellbeing since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic, beauty retailers have acted as a one-stop-shop for all their customers’ health needs.

Early on in the outbreak, Boots, which was allowed to remain open throughout various national lockdowns, teamed up with the UK government to offer a drive-through Covid-19 tests for NHS workers.

The high street chain also responded to the rise in victims of domestic abuse during lockdowns by offering in-store consultation rooms as safe spaces for victims.

Meanwhile, health chain and pharmacy to her majesty the Queen, John Bell & Croyden introduced rapid Covid-19 testing services and its ‘Fit to Fly’ resource for customers to provide a negative Covid test before flying.

URW also found one in ten Londoners are interested in Covid-related services including germ detoxing of personal items and touchless diagnostics.

“Just over 12 months ago we predicted that the retail surgery market, dedicated to prescribing products for specific personal needs, would be worth up to £40bn per month in the UK alone in 2020, and whilst that figure may have been impacted by the pandemic the desire for DNA and health-led services remains strong according to our latest research,” the group’s research said.

“The retail surgery trend has seen much acceleration, with retailer and consumer attention more heavily focused on health and wellness than ever before, retailers have a role in making people feel safe and truly catered for according to specific needs, and consumers need the reassurance that when they come together in retail and leisure spaces their wellbeing is taken into consideration.

“There is also a growing desire for more integrated services – from mental health support as you dine, to air purification as you shop.

“Retailers should consider innovative ways to introduce such offers to optimise the shopping experience.”

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