Next to open dedicated Beauty Halls at former Debenhams sites

The fashion retailer is taking advantage of the department store chain’s empty beauty departments across the UK

Next Oxford Street store, London, UK

UK retailer Next is putting its faith in beauty as it prepares to open five dedicated Beauty Halls when the lockdown is lifted.

The standalone shops will be leased from five former Debenhams beauty departments, owned by property development firm Hammerson, including its Birmingham Bullring & Grand Central and Highcross Leicester stores.

Debenhams has been battling to keep its stores open after falling into financial difficulties last year; it has since been given the green light to close more than 20 stores across the UK.

Next has been trading beauty products via its website since 2018 and currently sells more than 200 beauty brands online including products from Clinique, Benefit, L’Occitane and Bobbi Brown.

Next’s CEO Simon Wolfson said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with existing and new beauty brand partners to create a new force in beauty retailing – bringing our online business to life through premium store environments in some of the UK’s most important retail locations.”

No fixed date has been set for the store openings, however, Next said it is working with teams and partners to adapt the new stores to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Hammerson’s CEO David Atkins added: “This is a really challenging time for all of us, so it’s really encouraging to see strong, innovative brands like Next work with us to plan for the future.

“This is another example of how we are repurposing department store space and improving the shopping experience for consumers.

“The Beauty Hall from Next is a great concept and it’s a real vote of confidence in our flagship destinations that Next has chosen these locations to launch its new offer."

Next is also said to be in talks to adopt more bricks-and-mortar sites to expand its beauty offering in the UK.

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