Debenhams has taken a stake in on-demand beauty services company Blow, as part of ambitions to accelerate its presence in the £4 billion beauty services market.
The full details of the investment has not been publicised, but Debenhams said it would hold a minority stake in Blow and join its board.
As well as giving the department store chain a proposition in the large but fragmented beauty services market via a tech-enabled premium service provider, it will also give the retailer a new distribution channel whereby beauty services and treatments can be booked to take place in the home, as well as in dedicated beauty bars in Debenhams stores.
Offering blow dry, make up and nail services, the first three Blow “beauty bars” will launch in Debenhams‘ Oxford Street, Birmingham Bullring and Manchester stores this autumn.
The investment forms part of Debenhams Redesigned, the growth strategy announced in April which detailed the retailer’s mission to “make shopping confidence boosting, sociable and fun” with plans for growth which include a stated ambition to create a £1 billion business in beauty services.
“The step is a strategic move which ties into multiple facets of our Debenhams Redesigned strategy,” chief executive Sergio Bucher said.
“This will allow us to scale up our beauty services offer rapidly and bring brands closer to customers both in store and in their own homes. Blow‘s exclusive presence in Debenhams stores will give customers even more reasons to visit us and the digital app booking service fits with our aim to offer customers a seamless mobile experience.
“Through partnering with Blow, Debenhams can adopt an entrepreneurial approach to a growing market, acquiring external expertise with flexibility and low overhead commitments.”
Blow‘s tech-enabled curated marketplace has already experienced rapid growth, delivering over 150,000 beauty services, investment from Unilever Ventures, and exclusive partnerships with brands such as L‘OrÃ©al.