Tina Miles speaks to Daniela Rinaldi, beauty director of Harvey Nichols, as it opens in Liverpool
WHEN Harvey Nichols chiefs were looking for a location to debut their new beauty emporium, Liverpool fitted the bill perfectly.
Extending over three floors of 22,000 sq ft in the Liverpool One fashion hub, the retailer’s Beauty Bazaar was designed as a “global beacon of beauty”.
However, the decision to launch the concept in Merseyside was based on far more than the prime retail space.
Daniela Rinaldi, Harvey Nichols group concessions and beauty director, said research indicated Liverpool would be the ideal destination.
The city was the second most lucrative beauty market in the UK outside of London, with average spends of four times the national average.
In addition, people from Liverpool were deemed 35% more likely to buy tanning products than anywhere else in the country, boasting approximately 300 tanning salons – six times the national average.
Ms Rinaldi, who is leading the development, said: “Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols will be the first one-stop destination for all things beauty.
“We had a clear strategy for Beauty Bazaar, and Liverpool sat perfectly within that grid from our point of view because, there is no doubt about it, the girls from Liverpool and the surrounding areas are incredibly glamorous. Some people seem to be hooked up on this thing about why we’re opening in Liverpool but my answer to that is ‘Why not?’
“We’re committed to this project and have intentions of opening in London and other cities and are looking to take it internationally, but there’s nothing like having it first.
“And Liverpool is beautiful. I had a walk down to the docks and the buildings are beautiful.”
Although the city has an abundance of beauty salons, tanning salons and stores, she believes “Harvey Nics” will fill a gap by providing a high-end beauty destination where customers can have all their needs met in one location.
Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols opened its doors yesterday afternoon, with model Olivia Palermo declaring the store officially open with a ceremonial ribbon cut.
As well as causing a stir in beauty circles, it has also provided up to 100 new jobs within central Liverpool.
The timing for the glossy beauty displays and treatment areas, which have taken over the old Habitat site, in Liverpool One, could not be better, according to Ms Rinaldi.
She is confident the one-stop beauty store will actually prosper in a recession, thanks to the knowledge women are reportedly happier after spending money on themselves. As a result, she said beauty has remained resilient in the downturn.
She said: “Harvey Nichols has long held a reputation for delivering innovation within the beauty arena.
“We were first to the market with brands such as MAC and Shu Uemura – all game-changers who fundamentally impacted the cosmetics industry. The concept of lifestyle beauty was also born via Harvey Nichols with the launch of both Aveda, the first of its kind, and Harvey Nichols’ own Beyond Beauty – a concept which introduced to the UK customer exclusive derma and skincare brands retailed alongside their more natural counterparts.
“Harvey Nichols continues to pioneer the niche fragrance market with exclusive launches of Tom Ford, By Kilian and Escentric Molecules.”
The store showcases the world’s leading beauty, skincare and fragrance brands, as well as concessionaire BeautyMart, which features a wide range of products from luxury to basic items.
The second floor is dedicated to discreet treatments including waxing and tanning, while the first floor features Mark Woolley’s Electric Hair Lounge, a Blink Brow Bar and both a lash and nail bar.
A lavish Champagne and cocktail “Wow” bar is the star attraction on the first level, which bosses said will make it an all-day destination.
Ms Rinaldi said: “We had to have the right space in the right location.
“This is a truly unique space which houses the best brands in the market alongside the latest services that will ensure grooming of the highest level, within the convenience of one space.
“We ended up with more brands than we had space for when we presented the environment that we were going to stock the brands. It superseded their expectations.
“Harvey Nichols was interesting to them, but the reason for their interest was what we are trying to achieve hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world.
“This will be the first time international and premium brands will be housed within such a luxurious environment to ensure Beauty Bazaar is an experience like no other.
“It will return beauty to the luxury proposition it once enjoyed when I started out in the 80s.”
The 47-year-old joined Harvey Nichols in June, 1986, after deferring her place on a languages course at university.
Working her way up from the shop floor in Knightsbridge, she became controller of perfumery and concessions in 1996 and was promoted to the board three years ago.
Ms Rinaldi believes the latest innovation – an all- encompassing beauty destination which she refers to as her “baby” – will transform the beauty landscape.
She said: “We have created a true lifestyle experience where people can meet friends and appreciate beauty in a glamorous surrounding.
“The concept will allow girls in Liverpool the opportunity to be pampered and preened with the best treatments and provide access to brands and people they do not normally have access to.”
So would a full Harvey Nichols store soon follow?
She said: “I think there is a limit to how many stores we could open in the UK, but we shouldn’t rule it out.”