BY ELISABETH KING
IN AN INCREASINGLY COMPETITIVE BEAUTY LANDSCAPE EVEN THE MOST WELL-ESTABLISHED NAMES NEED TO CONSTANTLY MAINTAIN THEIR LEADING EDGE. NO ONE KNOWS BETTER THAN JO HORGAN, FOUNDER OF MECCA BRANDS, THAT THE DESIGN OF KEY LOCATIONS, PRODUCT MERCHANDISING AND INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGY USING SCREENS AND SPECIAL EFFECTS NOT ONLY ENTICE CUSTOMERS INTO STORES, THEY MAKE THEM STAY. BUT PRESTIGE BEAUTY RETAILERS HAVE TO GO ONE STEP BEYOND WHEN IT COMES TO CREATIVITY AND INGENUITY TO ALSO INSPIRE AND EDUCATE.
Mecca celebrated its 20th anniversary in October 2017 with in-store activities, ranging from treatment services to consultations with global beauty experts such as Kate Somerville. In November, the Chadstone store in Melbourne unveiled the company’s new store re-design, quickly followed by Bondi Junction Westfield.
Ahead of the Curve
Change is a constant at Mecca and we are always striving to be ahead of the curve in terms of what the customer wants, especially when it comes to store design, says Horgan. “The new Chadstone Cosmetica store is a step change for us. Working with our long-time collaborator Jules Meacham of Meacham Nockles, we have taken a bold, glamorous, almost retro approach”.
The 1960s and 70s are referenced with design pieces such as a Castiglioni Snoopy lamp and a Saporiti armchair, adds Horgan. “Art Deco accents are also very much in evidence, notably in the Beauty Bar which is a mélange of retro Italian and Hollywood glamour featuring brass, Lucite and Calacatta viola marble. The shopfront also makes a strong statement with pops of colour, beginning on the windows and extending throughout the store. It’s super modern and also celebrates what we are all about – colour and artistry”.
Mecca’s well-defined execution and singular image have always stood out from the crowd. Attention to detail has always spring boarded design solutions. The custom-made fragrance cabinets of the re-design take their cue from leading brands. For example, sharp, minimal aluminium for Sweden-based Byredo and a wallpapered design with Zebrano timber detailing for heritage French fragrance brand Diptyque.
Evolving Customer Needs
Evolving Customer Needs There’s also a strong focus on travel in the Mecca Jetset space, a glossy yellow and orange haven for travel sized and oriented beauty products. Mecca has increasingly become a gifting destination and now provides a designated Gifting Bar, a customised service that makes choosing the right present a pleasure rather than a chore. The overall effect is one of futurism, in spite of the vintage inspirations. “A key consideration in our designs is to look at how the customers are using the stores and what their needs are”, says Horgan. “And their needs evolve, too. For example, the customer is now more informed than ever, so we find ourselves needing to balance being there for them and being able to dispense advice with also giving them the freedom to move around the space independently. That’s why the Beauty Bar is such a great play space”.
Creative Director, Marita Burke, admits that the new store design has created a bit of a stir. “It means people are noticing it. We always strive to push the boundaries and evolve our expression. Every store we open is different and each one builds to tell a story across the portfolio and that’s all part of the fun”.
Today’s beauty consumers are a demanding shopping force and are looking for both style and substance. The new Mecca re-design features more makeup stations where customers can access skin consultations, makeovers and group workshops to create a more service-dependent model. Customers have remained loyal and engaged because of a true sense of community and Mecca has again delivered the sought after combination of delight, reward, imagination and in-depth knowledge they have come to expect.