Yesterday Helen and I were taken on a personal tour of John Lewis’s multi-million pound new beauty hall at their flagship store on Oxford Street and what an experience it turned out to be.
Costing over £7 million to revamp and a whopping 18,000 square feet of retail space, if heaven is all bright white lights and pretty things then this must be it. I defy you not to be marvelled by what welcomes you the moment you enter the double glass doors of the store’s entrance.
Designer gpstudio has carefully planned the concept of this breath-taking haven with precision and style and created an ambiance that soothes and relaxes customers. It’s a complete turn-around from other beauty halls, which are usually very daunting and sometimes claustrophobic. John Lewis’s epic beauty hall was completed in seven phases, with the final unveiling only yesterday.
Based on the idea of a Town Square, the premium cosmetic brands are positioned like ‘houses’ around a central area focused on fragrance and niche assortments such as haircare, skincare and nails. It is a pleasure to stroll through and take in the sights, sounds and scents. I think this was the first time I could stop and look around in without other shoppers pushing past or shoving me out of the way.
Major international names are neighbours with niche brands and some highly prestigious names. It’s wall-to-wall beauty with something for everyone.
You can make a bee-line straight for Creed, Tom Ford or Diptyque or drool over favourites Chanel, Nars, YSL and Dior. Both Lancome and Guerlain have treatment rooms but there is also room for firm favourites L’Oreal, Carmex, Neal’s Yard, Ojon, Origins, Elemis, Liz Earle, Clarins and Clinique (to name but a few).
John Lewis has also secured concessions with Burberry (the first one outside of Harvey Nichols), Top Shop (the only place other than Top Shop itself to stock their make-up range) and the jewel in the crown (in my humble opinion), a Jo Malone concession that blasts other JM concessions out of the water.
You also can’t miss the incredible OPI glass cabinet housing hundreds of OPIs (can we have one commissioned for Helen, please?) surrounded by Nails Inc, Jessica and Leighton Denny delights.
Even gadgets have been incorporated (such as electric toothbrushes, haircare electrical goods, hair removal and magnifying mirrors) so all your beauty needs are covered.
It’s the ultimate beauty experience and the ultimate beauty hall. Mind you, I couldn’t leave without actually experiencing it properly, now could I? So I picked up YSL lip stain and then had the pleasure of spending an hour or so in the company of Stephanie at Jo Malone. The purse is a bit lighter (as is my head) but John Lewis’s new beauty hall is amazing. There. I’ve made my point. Now go and see it for yourself.