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Retail
Updated: 1 Dec 2014

Urban Decay Beauty Flagship

Extra
Urban Decay, Newport Beach, California

Cosmetics brand Urban Decay (owned by French beauty giant L'Oreal) has taken a step towards establishing itself as a solo presence outside its department store concessions with its first freestanding, tech-enhanced flagship. The shop is located at the Fashion Island mall in the brand's original hometown of Newport Beach, California.

The 1,000 sq ft store sells its entire range of products, including those sold online and collaborative projects such as its headphones created in partnership with US audio brand Skullcandy. The shop floor is organised around six key make-up stations for testing products.

Socialising the experience, a photo booth allows shoppers to take 'selfies', which can be printed in-store or shared via social media, while both an in-store coffee shop and a "Dude Station" – a lounge equipped with phone chargers for friends in tow who are less keen on browsing beauty products – encourages dwell time. See also Commuter Commerce in our Roaming Retail Industry Trend for more on the significant financial benefits of charging hotspots.

In terms of design, the store is a tale of two stories: a floor made of reclaimed wood and neutral, beige walls – a nod to its popular range of Naked products in natural tones; and livelier splashes of mirror purple and silver, provided via features such as a large nickel chandelier with hanging chains, a shiny floor-to-ceiling metal sculpture of a twisting tree, and a large video wall playing branded content.

The brand, which intends to use the Californian store as a template for international expansion, will open an outpost in London's tourist mecca of Covent Garden in December.

For more on key beauty retail strategies, see 2014 Beauty Retail Trends, Shiseido Superstore, Japan and Alluring Perfumeries. For more on encouraging dwell time, see Slowing the Journey and Show & Tell Retail.

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