// Next opens the doors to its first beauty hall concepts at Intu Watford & Intu Milton Keynes
// The beauty halls fall under Next’s Beauty & Home fascia and take over former Debenhams sites
// Next announced plans to extend its online beauty offer to bricks-and-mortar back in May
Next has officially opened the doors to its first bricks-and-mortar beauty concepts at Intu Watford and Intu Milton Keynes.
The two stores, which both opened on the same day, fall under Next’s Beauty & Home fascia and are located within former Debenhams sites.
The fashion retail giant first announced bring its online beauty offer to bricks-and-mortar back in May.
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Plans are also afoot to open another Next beauty hall concept within the former Debenhams site at Intu Metrocentre, along with at least three other former Debenhams sites at Hammerson shopping centres.
Debenhams had previously confirmed it would not reopen around 20 of its stores, some of which are located within Hammerson and Intu centres, once retail lockdown restrictions were lifted and as part of its wider administration process.
The new Next Beauty & Home stores at Watford and Milton Keynes feature a beauty hall, homewares and furnishings, plus women’s accessories, nightwear and lingerie and a cafe.
The UK health and beauty market is set to grow by 8.8 per cent by 2024 according to Global Data, when it would be worth an extra £2 billion.
Next previously said it recognised the opportunity to develop an extensive premium beauty business after a successful online collaboration with Fabled by Marie Claire, which launched on the fashion retailer’s ecommerce site in October 2018.
Next now sells over 200 beauty brands on its website – including premium brands Estee Lauder, Burberry, Bvlgari, Emporio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent and Lancôme – and acquired Fabled in July 2019 from Ocado.
The new store opens also provide a further vote of confidence for Intu as it pushes on with its administration process, especially for its Watford centre after renewed its lease contract with anchor retailer Primark last week.
“We are delighted to have welcomed the first shoppers to Next Beauty & Home at Intu Watford,” said Kate Grant, speaking on behalf of Intu Watford.
“This is a great addition to the centre, and will be fantastic for visitors looking to purchase gifts in the run up to Christmas.
“The health and beauty sector is performing well at present, and is set for further growth – so this is a great time for Next Beauty & Home to open its doors.
“We are confident that the store will thrive at a high footfall location like Intu Watford, and we look forward to working with them.
“We are seeing a healthy flow of new deals and openings like this one across our centres, as confidence continues to pick up across the retail sector.”