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Brief Published: 30 Jun 2015

Wellness Retail: Beauty Library, Tokyo

Beauty Library, Tokyo

Merging beauty, wellness and hospitality all under one roof, Japanese organic cosmetics store Beauty Library is the newest addition to the Aoyama district, one of Tokyo's main shopping areas and the epicentre of its luxury flagships.

Conceived by prolific Japanese design agency Nendo (for more, see our full profile Nendo: Reimagining the Everyday), the minimalist, yet warm space occupies the ground floor and features an all-glass shop front that floods the interiors with natural light. Colourfully packaged products are displayed neatly on wooden shelving units resembling library bookshelves, all of which come with integrated dark wooden desks and stools (Nendo's own designs for US furniture brand Emeco) that allow visitors to sit and relax while testing the brand's cosmetics.

Each product is also embedded with a QR code, which consumers can scan with their mobile phone to get extra information or purchase desired items at their convenience after leaving the store. For more on using tech-enabled packaging to unlock additional content, see Media-Enhanced Packaging in our Packaging Futures Industry Trend and The Dieline Conference, 2014.

Based on the wider premise that beauty also comes from within, the Beauty Library features a café with organic food and drinks. Culinary ingredients are displayed in a clinical glass case while simple, utilitarian shelves that echo a main counter hold condiments and utensils (see also Scientifically Styled Spaces). An additional, semi-clandestine space at the back of the store, located across a small courtyard, is used for events and brand workshops. For more on the value of hidden or secretive spaces, see Covert Credibility: Modern Brand Folkore in Beyond Commerce: Rites, Rituals & Culture Clubs, part of our New-Era Luxury Macro Trend.

Japan is ageing fast – according to a 2014 study by international research firm Euromonitor, the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to rise from 32 million in 2013, to 35.6 million in 2018. As a result, health and wellness-focused strategies will present increased opportunities in the next decade.

For more on the rise of the health and wellness market and how it's influencing the retail sector, see Wellness Retailing: The Modern Apothecary and Holistic Health. To get a wider perspective on beauty retail, see Beauty Retail Trends, Bespoke Beauty: New Retail Strategy, Benefit Targets Teen Beauty Market and Selling Beauty Online.

For more examples of stores combining hospitality and commerce, see Hybrid Retailing, Evolution of the Retail Flagship and Retailer-Restaurants. See also BbyB Store Indulges Asian Appetite for Chocolate.