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Brief Published: 12 Feb 2018

Service for Millennials: Saks' New Beauty Department, NYC

Saks Fifth Avenue

American luxury department store group Saks Fifth Avenue is to open a new leading-edge beauty floor targeting millennials at its New York flagship. Scheduled to open in May, the new beauty offer taps an increasingly important demographic for department stores (see Next-Level Department Store Strategies).

The floor will focus on service-driven experiences and Instagram-worthy product presentations. It will feature 15 spa rooms, Italian fashion brand Gucci’s first beauty concession, and a new-age apothecary.

  • Wellness Services: Tapping into millennials’ skincare obsession (Pinterest searches for beauty in 2017 saw a 75% increase year-on-year – Pinterest, 2017), the beauty floor will house spa rooms with complimentary brand services and paid wellness treatments such as CoolSculpting (a medical treatment used to destroy fat cells by freezing). An 850 sq ft event space will host masterclasses, seminars and brand activations. An in-store on-demand beauty concierge will be available via technology-enabled desk bells sending push notifications to nearby staff.
  • Concessions: London facial massage brand FaceGym will open its first US workout space, offering an unconventional approach to skin rejuvenation. Additionally, Gucci will debut its first beauty boutique selling Gucci fragrances alongside custom-designed flower bouquets by US flower brand EB Florals.
  • Atypical Setting: Saks is breaking with traditional department store set-ups by moving its beauty offer from the ground floor to the second floor. Measuring 30,578 sq ft (40% larger than its previous setting), the space will have new escalators assuring swift access. Windows have been uncovered to create an open, airy feel, while low-height fixtures allow uninterrupted sightlines. It was designed by US architect firm Gensler.

For more on service-led retailing, see Brand Spaces 2018/2019 and Beauty Flagships.