Following the lead of many other department stores, Bloomingdale's announced a new 36,408-square-foot beauty department at its 59th Street flagship in New York on Jan. 16, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive, featuring services like a hair and nail bar, and spa rooms.
Other updates include: "a luxe fragrance hall, a vast array of beauty services and spa rooms, an innovative new beauty shopping service and a multitude of new brands," per the release. Of the over 200 brands the new department will have, 75 are new.
Beauty is just one part of a larger update at Bloomingdale's, which has so far also included upgrades to the home, shoe and ready-to-wear departments. As a result of the changes, beauty products will be available on multiple floors rather than just one.
As with several other department stores this year, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's, Bloomingdale's has seen fit to infuse some new color into its beauty department. The move comes just a few months after the retailer announced the launch of Wellchemist, a clean beauty boutique, at several locations.
Glowhaus, another Bloomingdale's boutique featured in the upgrade, and Wellchemist, are "targeted at the millennial-minded beauty consumer and the conscious beauty shopper respectively," according to the company, and represent a "modern approach to beauty shopping." The Glowhaus shop offers all products under $100 and is geared towards creating a playful experience.
However, the update includes more than just a few boutiques and some new brands. Like many of its competitors, Bloomingdale's is stressing new tech enhancements and a focus on the shopper experience, including "play stations," where shoppers can test out products. The focus on those two elements follows a larger trend in the beauty sector, where players like Sephora and Ulta have made a name for themselves by breaking from the traditional beauty model and encouraging shoppers to enjoy services and lessons in stores, as well as shop via brand agnostic associates.
To that end, Bloomingdale's is introducing beauty stylists, essentially personal shoppers for the beauty department, whom shoppers can book time with in order to discover new brands or get help choosing between products. They'll also be free to give touch-ups and makeup tutorials, a move that mimics Sephora's in-store class offerings.
As part of the effort, Bloomingdale's seems to be hoping to cross-sell products from different departments. The retailer noted that Glowhaus was located purposefully close to some going-out apparel so that, "While shopping for a date-night dress on the 2nd floor a pre-date mask can also be found," and an open cosmetics space is located next to the shoe department, featuring new and trendy products.
"The reimagined Bloomingdale's cosmetics floor is the next phase in our flagship store's near-complete total transformation," Francine Klein, vice chairman and GMM for shoes, handbags, fashion accessories, fashion and fine jewelry, cosmetics and outlets said in a statement. "The beauty department is the first stop on every customer's journey upon entering the store and in renovating the space we had to ensure that it would capture and engage our shoppers."