MILAN — Italian department store Rinascente has taken its beauty game to the next level by launching an initiative called Beauty Fair.
The project runs until March 11 and includes both established and independent brands in the makeup, skincare and fragrance categories organizing pop-ups to showcase their latest collections, limited edition or customizable products, as well as offering experiences in the store, free treatments and masterclasses for customers.
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The format was implemented at Rinascente’s Milan flagship, at the Roma Tritone location and at the Turin store.
In Milan, it was located on the sixth floor, traditionally dedicated to home collections, temporarily adding an additional space for beauty to the existing presence on the ground floor and the Beauty Bar in the adjacent shop in the annex.
“The main goal was to attract a large number of local customers and offer them additional content and a different level of experience,” Giuseppe D’Amato, Rinascente’s purchasing and merchandising director, said on Tuesday.
“Initially we launched projects related to the world of home [in this space] but since last year we have been experimenting with product categories that are not normally shown here,” he added.
Focusing on beauty was a given, as sales from this category are increasingly gaining ground within the retailer’s network, which consists of nine locations in Italy. Rinascente reached the 1 billion euro turnover mark last year and reported an increase of 16 percent compared to 2022 and a growth of 14 percent compared to the record year 2019. Sales grew in all product categories, with a particular focus on luxury accessories and beauty , which rose by 28 percent. and 30 percent respectively.
“In this store, sales of beauty products account for more than 12 percent of total sales, and we expect this figure to continue to rise,” D’Amato said of the Milan flagship, Rinascente’s jewel thanks to its strategic position overlooking the city’s Duomo Cathedral.
“This is one of our main locations, followed by Roma Tritone, but all stores are reporting growth…Beauty sales in particular were up double digits across all our stores. We have reached a level of offer that is very interesting and quite unique in Italy, both in terms of the catalog and the exclusivity of the brands,” said D’Amato.
During the Beauty Fair project in Milan, one of the largest pop-ups was set up by YSL Beauty, which installed its first Innovation Lab in the country with a focus on technical devices, in addition to showcasing its makeup and fragrance offerings.
Estée Lauder, La Mer and Bobbi Brown, all staged booths full of skin care treatment booths and makeup stations. After booking on Rinascente’s website, customers have access to free services and beauty advice. These include masterclass sessions to discover products and skincare techniques from an Estée Lauder expert; an exclusive treatment focused on cellular rejuvenation and based on the moisturizer Crème de La Mer, and complimentary seasonal color analysis sessions by Bobbi Brown makeup artists.
The Shiseido stand, bright red, also offered tailor-made make-up sessions and skin analyzes upon online booking, while Acqua di Parma is focusing heavily on personalization through special engravings on fragrance bottles, embroidery on the brand’s home collection and customized decorations on product packaging. to offer.
On the niche front, Amouge installed a pop-up to celebrate its 40th anniversary, which also showcased the perfumes launched to mark this milestone, called “Dia” and “Jubilation”. In terms of experience, a series of events called ‘Meet the Brand’ will be organized so that customers can discover more about the brand and the ingredients behind the formulations.
Amouge is distributed in Italy by Olfattorio, whose ties with Rinascente date back to 2011 and are now further strengthened with a Bar à Parfums featuring artisanal fragrances from Caron, Goutal, BDK Parfums, Akro, Maison Crivelli and Ellis Faas, among others. a few.
Spanish beauty brand Natura Bissé is among the brands making their Italian debut as part of Rinascente’s exclusives. The counter is flanked by a striking inflatable “bubble” that serves as a cabin for beauty treatments.
D’Amato said the experience side of the initiative is proving to be the main driver, as all slots “are already fully booked for the entire month, and for most brands there are even waiting lists to access them.”
“So in the future we see ourselves acting more and more as a content box. There will be counters with products and exclusives, but we also feel a responsibility to both our existing customers and new customers to offer something more, whether it is an experience or a new label to discover,” said D’Amato.
“We see our future unequivocally tied to this aspect of entertainment, and are therefore continuing our overall strategy to deliver as a media company, where we provide more space for brands to enable them to express themselves,” he continued. “Our goal is to have at least two multi-category projects per year and work on monthly acquisitions, including by a single brand,” says D’Amato, pointing to Rinascente’s recent holiday activations as an example. As reported, the Milan flagship hosted the Chanel Wonderland concept for the occasion, the most extensive takeover the retailer has ever organized as it spanned floors, shop windows, facade and arcade.
The retailer also continues to scout indie beauty brands, highlighted in the Beauty Fair formats installed in the Roma Tritone and Turin units.
In Rome, the initiative takes place in the basement and includes corners from companies such as Appealskin, Eterea, Fler, Manucurist and Sobea, in addition to a multi-brand space showcasing Barberino’s, Espressoh, GHD and Paula’s Choice, among others. Olaplex, Nabla, Alkemy, Bigoodino and Coistel Beauty are among the labels spotlighted in the Turin store.
“But more than location-based, our scouting process follows generations,” D’Amato said. “We are very consistent when it comes to established names and exclusives. With emerging brands, we rely on what happens online, where names emerge because they are launched by local celebrities or because they offer content or values that attract the attention of new generations, such as sustainability.”
“For this reason we launched the Beauty Bar here in Annex and then developed it in all our other stores… because the customer response was immediate and very strong. Initially it was mainly appreciated by Generation Z, but now it attracts the entire beauty audience,” he concludes.
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