Selfridges opened the new 20,000 sq ft beauty hall that replaces the food and technology departments in the basement of its Manchester city centre store on Tuesday.
Yo Sushi and the islands of computerised gadgets that have in the basement for many years have been lost from the store although the occasional section remains such as a small Paperchase concession, moved upstairs, and the wine store, now on the men's fashion floor.
The cosmetics range, along with sunglasses, jewellery and perfume relocated from the ground floor, previously shared with other luxury accessories such as handbags and watches, to double the amount of trading space for the beauty brands. The reconfiguration allowed Selfridges to accommodate new brands to the store including Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani, Suqqu, Nars, Links of London and Jo Malone.
By widening the atrium through all six floors and cutting light wells into the floor next to the entrance the design team have added natural light and strong sight lines down into the new beauty section. There are also plans to punch holes into the white wall that encases the trading floors behind the glazed facade fronting Exchange Square in later phases.
See beauty floor layout below
The privately-owned retailer is spending £20m refurbishing the Manchester asset floor by floor. The 120,000 sq ft central Manchester store is the smallest of Selfridges' four UK department stores, after Trafford Centre, Birmingham, and Oxford Street, London, the largest at 600,000 sq ft.
Sue West, retail operations director, speaking at the opening of the beauty hall, said that customers at its Trafford Centre store tended to stay longer and travel by car, both of which suit the food and technology departments, made larger as part of its building programme.
The beauty and jewellery hall's move downstairs means the luxury accessories trading area will double in size on the ground floor. Some stock such as watches will be split between floors, largely by price, with higher end goods staying in luxury accessories and 'fashion' watches going downstairs with beauty.
West said the city centre store was moving increasingly towards fashion, whereas the group's other stores retained a homeware, more family feel.
The four-year Manchester revamp will reach halfway in spring 2012. The new beauty hall will be followed by a refreshed offer on the top floor, currently home to high street names such as All Saints and Top Shop. This phase is due to begin at the end of 2012 and last six months. The final phases will be refurbishment of the second and third floors, men's and women's fashion.
The design team on the beauty hall includes architects HMKM, fit-out firm Styles & wood and quantity surveyors Cyril Sweet.
Click image to enlarge beauty hall map