long read

What’s in the box: the business of beauty advent calendars



unpacking the business of beauty advent calendars

On October 25th, 300 people queued around the block of Liberty’s department store before 8.30am. Not for a new i-gadget, or a half price techy telly, or even a celebrity collaboration. No, they queued for make-up. Or more specifically, for the privilege of buying a £175 box of beauty products, albeit worth over £500.

Welcome to the frenzied, hype-commerce world of beauty advent calendars. A business that’s been booming for the last couple of years and is still growing (according to Google trends). (more…)



Arket’s curated archive wardrobe is a breath of fresh air in the toxic world of fast fashion



Arket women knitwear in the London Regent Street store

In an age where sustainability in fashion and provenance in food are starting to define how we choose to consume products, it’s refreshing to see a company building longevity and durability into a brand concept from the ground up. DRG retail editor, ALISON FARRINGTON reports.

Arket is a new retail brand from Swedish fashion giant H&M, but it is about as far away from ‘fast fashion’ as it’s possible to be. (more…)



Harrods Salon de Parfums: see, touch, smell



Floraiku fragrance at Harrods Salon de Parfums 6th floor

It takes a lot to get me to an 8.30am press launch, but the addition of seven new boutiques to the Harrods Salon de Perfums did the trick. Joining the original ten boutiques, this 6th floor haven is a destination for serious scent seekers.

Let’s talk personalisation and experience, two big lifestyle trends that are a gift to luxury retailers. At Harrods they’re expected by wealthy overseas customers, who demand excellence and uniqueness from every visit. With bricks and mortar retail struggling overall, it’s the ‘wow’ experiences that get people talking and – crucially – returning for more. (more…)



Would you pay £90 for a custom colour and coverage-matched foundation?



Lancome Le Teint Particulier foundation at Harrods

The much-vaunted Lancôme Le Teint Particulier foundation has finally arrived on U.K. shores. Just launched with its own fancy new counter at Harrods, it lets you custom mix your own personal foundation, matched to your skin tone via algorithmic technology. Choose your level of coverage and hydration, let the machine do its thing, then take away your own individual bottle, complete with unique-to-you code and printed label. (more…)