‘I still believe in the power of retail’: Seekology backs bricks-and-mortar despite retail backdrop

The brainchild of former John Lewis buyer Rebecca Saunders has entered a partnership with wellness space bhuti to give fledging beauty brands exposure in retail

Rebecca Saunders founder of Seekology

Indie beauty and wellness retailer Seekology has entered a partnership with wellbeing space bhuti on a new retail destination.

The new shop is the retailer’s second to open in the Richmond, UK, area and will stock products from more than 20 beauty brands.

In-store customers can take part in skin care consultations and ‘meet the maker’ sessions with some of the brand’s founders.

Since its establishment in 2019, Seekology's founder, and former John Lewis buyer, Rebecca Saunders has put fledging beauty brands’ exposure at the top of its priority list.

“Telling these brands’ stories is more important than ever and we believe conscious consumers will be keen to hear from them to know they are supporting entrepreneurs this year,” she told Cosmetics Business.

But while many retailers are focusing on streamlining their e-commerce platforms, Saunders is backing a bricks-and-mortar comeback.

“I still believe in the power of stores and believe these will continue to be critical for customers who want to try products and who want to have a face-to-face discussion with someone, particularly when it comes to skin care,” she noted.

“The future will be both physical and digital. In many ways Covid has accelerated existing trends.

“I do expect most consumers to continue to shop in a multi-channel way. A very common customer journey is for someone to research on social media, come to the store to see the products and then transact online.

“Retailers that make this as easy as possible for consumers through a consistent experience will benefit.”

When asked why she had not opted for a pop-up, Saunders said she believed her business was perfectly suited to make partnerships with other firms.

“The consumer coming to bhuti already, for pilates or the vegan cafe, is highly likely to be interested in shopping small batch beauty, vegan accessories or soy wax candles.

“This spirit of collaboration with a partner as well as the brands that we support is something that I think enhances the overall offer we can give to customers.”

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