An Insider's View of Premium Beauty: Jayne Demuro, Head of Beauty, Selfridges

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Selfridges has always been at the forefront of beauty innovation and is about to launch the Beauty Project, the biggest storewide initiative of the year. From May 1, Selfridges’ world famous windows will be dedicated to various aspects of the project which is designed to ask controversial questions around beauty and feminism.

For Jayne Demuro, Head of Beauty at Selfridges told me the Beauty Project is the culmination of more than a year’s work. For Selfridges, this is about standing out in a crowded market and breaking the global department store mould.

We are pleased to welcome Jayne for this our next “Insider’s View” exclusive interview, where she shares her views on premium beauty and the direction Selfridges is taking in beauty retailing.

What does the premium beauty industry need to do to ensure ongoing growth of the category?

It’s about product innovation, choice and the execution in store to ensure a higher experience that continues to be exciting. Selfridges achieves this by offering everything customers might want from natural formulations to the most advanced that are available.

Do consumers shop differently for beauty in Selfridges?

Before we opened our Beauty Workshop last year, that space was very brand oriented. Now, brands and beauty services compete in an equal space, where customers can replenish products and look for the latest and newest.

Now, the Beauty Project will bring in new and unique experiences for the six weeks of the campaign, including:

  • A ‘Selfridges Loves Top Ten’ beauty product edit

  • A tattoo parlour and piercing studio

  • Travel Beauty Shop featuring an edit of the best beauty minis under 100ml

  • The Sun Shop

  • The Face Gym providing facial workouts

  • A rock n roll barber on our Men’s Designerwear on 1

  • The Fragrance Sample Shop

  • The Fragrance Laboratory, providing customers with a bespoke olfactory experience with a seemingly infinite number of products

What kind of relationship is there between retailer and supplier?

It’s about a partnership and we work very closely to mutual benefit. Brands are able to express themselves like nowhere else. We encourage brands to do exclusives, such as MAC’s pop-up lipstick bullet in The Denim Studio {as part of the Beauty Project} and Jo Malone’s tea collection based on the daily tea ritual which is exclusive to Selfridges.We also look for collaborations. During the campaign, Dove will be offering our customers a true beauty keepsake by personalising their iconic Dove Cream Bar in store.

Will online premium beauty ever be as big as retail?

No, not as far as Selfridges is concerned. Beauty is a very emotional category. In our stores, it’s like there’s a party going on. You can’t do a makeover online, nor feel the texture, but it is very good for replenishment.

Online and retail will co-exist and complement one another and we aim to be where the consumer is. We know we want to do a better job of replenishment online.

Click and collect has been very successful and enables customers to buy products in any of our stores which are not available in others. In London we now have a drive-through click and collect service which is proving very successful.

What makes Selfridges beauty different to what else is available on the high street?

When we look at the competition, so much is the same. It’s really important to offer Selfridges’ customers something over and above what is available elsewhere. We want them to want to come to Selfridges.

Colour as a category is very strong for us and we are experiencing strong growth from niche fragrances. We don’t compete in mainstream fragrance which is all about discounting. All the time we are striving to do things differently.

It’s not just about product categories, but service and experience. The Beauty Workshop is a step forward in offering a new shopping experience to customers and we will be roll it out to our Birmingham store in 2014.

We are super excited about the Beauty Project which we’ve been working on for more than a year. But with it comes responsibility, as Selfridges is a global showcase for beauty brands.