H Beauty brings luxe cosmetics to suburbia
UK – London's famed Harrods department store is opening its first suburban beauty store, H Beauty, at the Intu Lakeside mall.
Marking the retailer’s first stand-alone beauty store and presence in the county of Essex, the space will have its own visual identity and house 80 of the 250 brands that Harrods stocks at its Knightsbridge flagship store. While customer traffic at its flagship store is primarily dominated by tourists and an older demographic, the move to Essex will allow the brand to reach a younger, regional consumer. The store will feature make-up stations, virtual try-on mirrors and masterclasses for shoppers.
‘In a lot of the regional locations, there’s been very little innovation,’ says Annalise Fard, director of beauty at Harrods. ‘It really reinforces the need to create a safe one-stop shop for beauty lovers who can trust us [and] trust that they’re going to have a great experience, but not compromise on product or price either.’
In the wake of Covid-19 – and even pre-pandemic – luxurians have been looking to quieter spaces beyond cities for retail experiences, with H Beauty demonstrating the trend of Suburban Submersion in action.
A community-curated resale platform from COS
Global – H&M-owned label COS has launched Resell, a platform that lets its community of customers buy and sell pre-owned garments.
Launching this month in the UK and Germany, the new resale platform will enable COS enthusiasts to sell pieces from past collections to their peers, while also prolonging the lifespan of their clothes.
With a garment archive that dates back 13 years, the community-curated Resell platform will put the power into consumers’ hands, allowing them to set the price, provide accurate product information and manage postage, similar to other resale apps. To cover operational costs, COS will take 10% commission from each product sold.
Resell is the latest initiative from H&M Group as it continues its ambitions to operate a more sustainable fashion business, and marks the first dedicated platform of its kind from a premium high street label.
Elsewhere, luxury brands and retailers have been exploring Pre-loved Premium, with resale and buy-back schemes to increase customer retention, boost market sentiment and inspire circular retail.
A text-based daily paper combatting news fatigue
US – The New Paper is a text-based news service that curates concise storytelling into a single daily message format.
By taking an SMS approach, it aims to help users cut through the noise of the global news cycle, while keeping them informed about important news updates.
Prioritising technology, business, politics and world affairs, the service states information factually, without secondary opinion, and in as few words as possible. The text message format also helps it to feel less intrusive than other news providers.
‘It’s hard work to stay informed on what’s happening in the world since the news is dominated by clickbait and sensational content,’ explains Michael Aft, co-founder of The New Paper. ‘We initially focused on SMS because text messages have a 98% open rate, as opposed to email, which is only 20%, but in the future we plan to develop an eco-system of news products that offer the first touch of daily news across channels.’
With consumers feeling increasingly overwhelmed with information, they’re seeking slower, more focused communications – something we identify in The Focus Filter.
Stat: Americans turn flexitarian amid Covid-19
Over half of health-conscious Americans are changing to flexitarian diets, according to a new study by OnePoll.
As the pandemic puts greater focus on the importance of health among consumers, Americans are increasingly adopting a semi-vegetarian diet, with nearly six in 10 of 2,000 survey participants saying they have been eating fewer animal products since the beginning of Covid-19.
While half cited their desire to make healthier food choices, about four in 10 said purchases were driven by a desire to eat fewer animal products (42%) and wanting to live a more sustainable lifestyle (39%). Of note, OnePoll found that 39% of participants aged 18–25, and 23% of participants aged 26–41 said their diet already excludes animal products.
For diners tentatively introducing more plants to their diets, food products that mix meat with a healthy dose of vegetables are becoming a gateway to plant-based eating. For more, read our microtrend, Flexitarian Meats.