Say hi to the beautiful Bay
Glamorous makeover turns Richmond store into a destination
Shelley Rozenwald is glowing, much like a proud new parent, as she strides across the glossy new marble floors of the cosmetics department in the Hudson’s Bay store at Richmond Centre. The newly renovated Richmond store, specifically the beauty portion, is Rozenwald’s beautiful baby.
The transformation of the store has taken about 14 months and the result is dramatic, giving this suburban outpost of the iconic Canadian brand a new edge in keeping shoppers closer to home when they seek out luxury beauty brands with the attendant customer service.
“We’ve basically enlarged the space by about 30 per cent,” says Rozenwald, senior vice- president of cosmetics and fragrances for Hudson’s Bay. She gestures to the wide aisles and the spacious in- store boutiques and counters, noting that customers won’t be getting bumped by strollers or other shoppers.
“This is one of our strongest stores in the country,” Rozenwald says. “So as far as beauty goes, what was really important to us was to add some new brands that we had been dying to get but we had no space.”
So the Richmond Centre store has added Japanese luxury line Shu Uemura, Dior Prestige, Anna Sui, Australian brand Becca and Kiehl’s.
But the addition of Burberry cosmetics could be considered the jewel in its crown. It’s exclusive to the Richmond store — the downtown store won’t have it.
“There’s a space there, but it’s empty because it’s just not been built yet because it’s designed in London and just takes so much time,” she says.
“What’s very exciting for us is that the brands in partnership ( with us) have made Hudson’s Bay their headquarters. So we will have products here first, or exclusive.”
So that’s why you’ll find a Shu Uemura atelier there, along with the one in the downtown store, with its signature lash bar. Or the Kiehl’s boutique, with features like the chandelier and the apothecary drawers that mimic the original New York store or the new colourful and roomy MAC counter. The Shiseido boutique even has a built- in treatment room, and that’s in addition to the three other new treatment rooms that the other brands can use.
The spacious design isn’t just about customer comfort — it also allows for better merchandising so the product is clearly visible. The full range of each brand is carried, so whatever the consumer needs is on hand.
“We have all the shades,” Rozenwald says. “For that consumer looking for that perfect shade of foundation, we have it here. We’re not going to tell you we don’t carry that shade.”
The fashion departments have also had an injection of new brands. The men’s department sees the biggest change with the addition of a Top Man boutique, Ted Baker, Bugatti, Pure, Strellson and Robert Graham, among others. For women, the big excitement is with accessories and footwear, with Marc by Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade for handbags and jewelry, and Degree, Dr. Martens, Ash and Toms for shoes.
The store celebrates its new look Saturday with in- store promotions and ribbon- cutting for the official reopening at 9: 30 a. m.
Rozenwald says last weekend was hugely successful with a big spike in sales, even though they hadn’t officially launched the new beauty department.
“To work in a department store like this ( for) me is a dream,” she says, “because there is no other place that a brand can express their true DNA and a customer can have an experience like this.”