Virgin’s long-awaited retail cosmetics chain, intended to rival The Body Shop, is planning to trade under the name Vie and is believed to be arranging a flagship first store on London’s Oxford Street.
Development of the brand identity, interiors and packaging for the chain has been carried out by “a number of different design agencies”, says Axia Gaitskell, communications director of the The Project Consultancy, the company which is jointly owned by Virgin and the Victory Corporation and which is developing the cosmetics chain.
Gaitskell refuses to name the consultancies involved but Enfield-based Revolution is known to be one of the lead design groups. Revolution director Derek Pover declines to comment on the project.
Gaitskell denies that Revolution has developed the major elements of the stores on its own. She adds that three other potential trading names apart from Vie are under consideration. But sources close to the company say that Vie is the hot favourite. A final decision on which is to be used is expected within the next two weeks.
Gaitskell confirms that negotiations are underway for a number of central London sites to become the first store, which is expected to open in September or October. “Obviously Oxford Street is very interesting,” she says.
The Body Shop, a natural rival to the proposed chain, has been trialing a new format store on Oxford Street for some time.