Virgin breathes new life into its Cosmetics chain

The Virgin Cosmetics Company aims to open new stores in central London and Manchester during the next few months, taking its portfolio of stores nationwide to 13. All design work will be developed in-house under the jurisdiction of head of design Allison Miles.

The company, previously known as Virgin Vie, closed its only previous central London outlet – situated in Oxford Street – in February, after receiving a “very good” financial offer from Spanish-based women’s retailer Zara. The Manchester venue will also be a first for the chain.

The Virgin Cosmetics Company head of communications Gordon Lee says: “Manchester will be the next one opened and a central London store will be opened by the end of the year hopefully.

“We are looking at all the key areas such as Covent Garden, High Street Kensington and King’s Road, though it depends what comes up,” says Lee.

He adds that retail sites in Edinburgh and Birmingham are also on the agenda, but explains that it “depends on what’s available in the right location and at the right price”.

Meanwhile, Virgin Active, which was launched last August, is also looking to expand its presence around the UK. Currently operating in Leeds and Preston, Virgin Active provides swimming pool, gym, café, library and Internet facilities and is aimed at families and young professionals.

“There are plans for ten more centres in the next 12 months, with sites in Islington and Acton being looked at in London and others elsewhere around the country,” says Lee.

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