Neiman Marcus on Wednesday announced a partnership with Hudson BLVD Group to bring BLVD, a "multi-brand luxury beauty destination," to certain Neiman Marcus locations, starting with the Short Hills, New Jersey, store on Friday, Feb. 1 and the upcoming Hudson Yards location opening in New York in March.
The partnership is focused primarily on services that BLVD offers, which will now be available at Neiman Marcus locations and can be booked through BLVD. Among others, they include: salon services, nail services, eyelash extensions, brow shaping and hair removal, according to a company press release.
The department store retailer is also incorporating BLVD into its loyalty program, InCircle, which will allow customers to redeem BLVD services in addition to other perks, per the press release.
Following in the footsteps of the rest of the department store sector, Neiman Marcus is launching a slew of services that it hopes will put a fresh shine on its beauty offerings.
The move follows a larger push in the beauty category toward services as opposed to simply shelved merchandise, an idea ingrained at specialty players like Sephora and Ulta. The timing is appropriate, given that many of the department store retailer's rivals in the space have already made such changes.
Macy's in May, for example, revamped its beauty department to include more tech features and introduce brand-agnostic advisors, around the same time that Saks Fifth Avenue announced it would be upgrading the beauty department at its New York City flagship by, among other things, adding services. Those efforts have been matched, in part, by drugstore retailers, which have also made investments to provide more competitive beauty experiences.
CVS has played around with a new store concept that is double the size of its usual beauty section, and Walgreens used 2018 to launch a new beauty-focused concept and embark on a partnership with Birchbox to sell the startup's products at 11 of its stores.
Still, Neiman Marcus is not the first department store even this year to freshen up its offerings. Bloomingdale's just recently announced several changes to its 59th Street flagship, which include a host of new brands and, of course, beauty services. While the move is likely a step in the right direction, it begs the question of how beauty retailers begin to differentiate (again) when such experiential services have become table stakes.