Benefit cosmetics debuts new ‘boutique’ concession with designs by Umbrella

Umbrella Design has created a new retail concept for Benefit cosmetics, creating a boutique environment within a department store.

The concept is loosely based on the interiors for Benefit’s San Francisco stores, where the brand originates. It debuts in Debenhams, Norwich, and is due to roll out to at least three other Debenhams stores over the next year.

Umbrella has worked with Benefit for about 20 years on retail design, working across all its concessions and some of the brand’s stand-alone boutiques. It began work on the Norwich concession in August this year.

Raakhee Wara, design and project manager at Umbrella, says, ‘Normally in Debenhams it’s a standard concession, but we’re taking the boutique-standard spec and bringing it into a department store.

‘The new design concept is taken from San Francisco, with more emphasis on the services such as brows, waxing, the treatment and tan rooms and a separate masterclass room.’

Benefit Boutique in  Soho, New York, which features similar interiors to the forthcoming Norwich concession
Benefit Boutique in Soho, New York, which features similar interiors to the forthcoming Norwich concession

The approximately 88m2 area will feature its own entrance, creating a ‘shop within a shop’ feel using external branding and wood-effect flooring.

New styling elements include floral wallpaper, softer pink shades and wainscoting, aiming to create a ‘sophisticated feel’. The brow bar features the new branding and logo debuted in San Francisco, which was developed by Benefit’s in-house team, according to Umbrella.

Adrienne Star, Umbrella studio manager, says, ‘The brand has moved beyond retail into service now, and the design challenge was how to fit in elements such as the treatment room but still making a feature of the core business.’

Umbrella fitted armoires at the rear of the space to feature the core Benefit products. Star says, ‘[The products] are positioned to make a real statement. We put a style counter at the front so a lot of activity is framed by the unique Benefit architecture.’

The Benefit brand colours of cream, peach and pink have been retained, with new wallpaper patterned with pink with black flowers and striping,

The concession opens this weekend.

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  • Mark Fanthorpe November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Much as I love our business and I am proud of the work Umbrella does, this article does not do credit to the entire team that has consistently delivered great and innovative work for Benefit.

    The Design and Merchandising Manager at Benefit, Michelle Panther, has been instrumental in driving new ideas and constantly pushes to deliver innovation and quality (at the right price) and the shopfitters, Astabridge, have been excellent at listening and delivering on all levels.

    Great work requires great teamwork.

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