London’s retail landscape: Why it continues to attract beauty brands

Beauty brands taking over London

Beauty brands like Too Faced flock to London

What is it about London? Last month it was Tom Ford in Covent Garden and now another Estée Lauder-owned brand has opened its first beauty flagship globally in London. This time, Too Faced has opened its first physical store with a debut in Carnaby Street.

The cult brand has opened a small (585 sq ft) location on the destination street, but why should shoppers visit rather than just buy online or in concessions as previously? Well, they’ll find new and exclusive products there as well as as the regular Too Faced brand offer, plus plenty of new items for every season and other brands, too.

The store has been designed in a quirky mix of candy-toned hues (peach and pink) with chocolate and gold added in and a Union Jack wall created very much with Instagram in mind as shoppers are encouraged to share their visits on social media.

Estée Lauder acquired Too Faced, which will be 20 years’ old next year, from its founders Jerrod Blandino and Jeremy Johnson around a year ago, paying a hefty price tag of around $1.4bn.


Too Faced was previously available online in the UK as well as via concessions in Debenhams and Selfridges but why has it chosen to open its global flagship in London?

“I couldn’t think of a better location than London for our first global flagship, as it’s my favourite city,” Blandino said. “And it really doesn’t get any better than Carnaby Street – fun, fashionable, and festive, just like Too Faced.”

But as well as that, it’s undeniable that London continues to be chosen as a venue for debut or flagship stores, despite the looming issue of Brexit (as the Tom Ford opening shows). Last month also saw NY based e-commerce beauty brand Glossier, which is hugely popular with Millennials and recently launched UK distribution, open a pop-up store for a week in November in the city.

The space gave the brand a chance to get real feedback from consumers in London and be a testing ground for a more permanent presence here. This all shows that London is still a stopping-off point for brands wanting to penetrate further into Europe and the post-Brexit vote plunge in the value of the pound has also boosted its tourist traffic, underlining its status as a global retail hub.

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