The coronavirus lockdown has created difficulties for retail outlets, with non-essential shops forced to close their doors to customers in March.
Fashion retailers Oasis and Warehouse collapsed into administration in April, while John Lewis has said it is “highly unlikely” to reopen all 50 stores after lockdown.
Popular department store Debenhams also entered administration in April for the second time in a year, with seven of its stores forced to close last month, and another five due to close after lockdown.
But in some good news for the retail sector, Next is to take over five former Debenhams beauty departments to open its own standalone halls.
What products will the Next outlets sell?
The Next beauty outlets will operate from the main entrance of the stores, where Debenhams previously housed an array of branded stands selling make-up, skincare and perfume.
Next will occupy the ground floor area of the five recently closed department stores, which Debenhams failed to reach an agreement with the landlord on over rent.
It is not yet known what the rest of the store space will be used for, but some of Debenhams’ former employees are expected to be employed in the new outlets.
Next already offers around 200 products from beauty brands on its website, including Clinique, Benefit, Origins and GHD, so these are expected to feature in the new halls.
It also owns Fabled.com, which sells luxury lines from the likes of Bobbi Brown, YSL and Nars, with Next saying it wants to create a “premium retail environment” for beauty products on the high street.
The retailer also said it is in discussions to add an additional number of further sites to its beauty hall project.
Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next, told The Sun: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with existing and new beauty brand partners to create a new force in beauty retailing - bringing our online business to life through premium store environments in some of the UK's most important retail locations.”
Where will the beauty halls be?
The Next beauty halls will open at these five former Debenhams locations around the UK:
- Bullring, Birmingham
- Silverburn, Glasgow
- Highcross, Leicester
- The Oracle, Reading
- Centrale, Croydon
When will the beauty halls open?
The date the new beauty halls will open has not yet been confirmed, but Next has said it is working with its retail teams to ensure the stores adhere to government guidance on social distancing.