British fashion retailer Next has opened the doors to its debut dedicated beauty stores.
The first of the home and beauty spaces to welcome customers was the retailer's largest in Watford, formerly Debenhams, which opened alongside its store in Milton Keynes store, while Next’s Gateshead opening is expected to go ahead on 9 October.
The retailer’s CEO, Simon Wolfson, said the expansion was an “exciting” opportunity for the business to create a new “force in beauty retailing”.
In a statement, Next added it wanted to create a “premium retail environment” for its in-store offering.
Beauty categories in-store span make-up, skin care, hair care and fragrance, while brands stocked include Clarins, Clinique, Benefit, bareMinerals and Miller Harris.
The group began its foray into the physical beauty space in the spring by snapping up Debenhams stores for sale.
Debenhams fell into financial difficulty once again this year after the coronavirus pandemic forced retailers to close for more than 80 days.
Next has continued its spending spree by buying out the UK business of L Brands’ Victoria Secret after a takeover deal with Sycamore fell through earlier this year.
Speaking at the time of the announcement, L Brands’ CEO, Martin Waters, said: “We are pleased to take this next step in our profit improvement plan for Victoria’s Secret.
“Next’s capabilities and experience in the UK market are substantial and our partnership will provide meaningful growth opportunities for the business.”