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Brief Published: 28 Nov 2019

Will AfterBeauty Alter the Way Consumers Shop for Cosmetics?


UK retailer AfterBeauty is encouraging customers to immerse themselves in beauty brands from around the world with its experiential London flagship.  

Launched in November 2019, the four-storey townhouse is dedicated to beauty products and services. The retailer is tapping into demand from internet-born Gen Zers who crave ‘in real life’ (IRL) experiences when it comes to beauty. More than three-quarters (76%) of younger consumers say they enjoy shopping in-store (Retail Buying Study, 2018).

The flagship offers an opportunity for beauty fans to interact with a mix of high-street and indie brands which are featured throughout the space. A curated edit of products will change every few months, since the founders claim that most people’s beauty regimens are made up of multiple brands. The move encourages shoppers to mix up their beauty buys and discover new brands, as they trial different products at designated application stations.

AfterBeauty’s new store is designed to encourage experimentation, which will appeal to younger consumers who often use beauty as a form of self-expression. Zanelle Lim, co-founder of AfterBeauty, said: “We wanted to create a destination for beauty obsessives to lose themselves in a world of products, colour and creativity.” 

Each floor boasts an installation that is Insta-friendly, including flower walls, neon signs and disco balls. The IRL experience forms part of a multi-channel marketing approach, presenting content that is designed to be shared online via social media.

Adding to the experiential aspect of the store, tech-free sensorial zones are dotted around the space to resonate with Gen Zers who actively seek time offline. Shoppers can clear their minds in a meditation zone, or opt for a beauty treatment. 

To read more about experiential retail strategies, see Making Scenes, Gen Z: New Beauty Developments and Beautycon Pop: An Instagram Museum for Social Issues.