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Editors' Top Reads: News from Sephora, Grown Alchemist, Jo Malone and more... Team
17 May 2024

Here are some of this week’s news and features highlights handpicked by team.


Sephora lands at Manchester’s Trafford Centre as it opens third UK store

Long queues formed at The Trafford Centre in Manchester yesterday as Sephora finally opened its doors at the popular retail destination. Marking the beauty retailer's debut in the North of England and its third location in the UK, the new store promises an "immersive and unparalleled" shopping experience for beauty enthusiasts in the region, which I'm sure will be enjoyed!

From an extensive selection of products and brands to a beauty services area and curated displays, the space demonstrates Sephora's commitment to bringing its offer to diverse communities across the UK, recognising the "pivotal role" that major regional cities like Manchester play in shaping and influencing the beauty industry landscape. The new location was selected following an influx of requests and enthusiasm across the retailer's social media platforms, with Manchester emerging as the top city requested by its followers. It comes as the retailer plans to open other additional stores across the UK, following its first two openings in London last year. Read more about Sephora's new Manchester store here.

Sophie Smith, News Editor & Senior Writer.

Superdrug expands its horizons with plans to open 25 new stores

Fantastic news on the retail front this week. Sephora opened its third UK store (see above) and nationwide chain Superdrug has another 25 physical retail stores in its sights. It will also extend a further seven stores in the year that it celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Good quality retailers, such as Superdrug and Sephora, putting their faith in physical retail and joining shopping destinations nationwide is good news for everyone on the high street, no matter which sector they are in. These stores will bring in the shoppers and the quality of their shop-fits will enhance the experience at any mall or on any high street.

Opening stores, for anyone, is a big risk but signs are that consumers (particularly young consumers) are desperate for the human interaction and sensory experience that physical retail offers over online shopping and I wish both retailers every success with their new stores. I, for one, will be paying a visit.

Lauretta Roberts, Co-founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief.

Why newly privatised Grown Alchemist is targeting partnerships to fuel growth

Grown Alchemist is beauty's latest business to go private. Since exiting L’Occitane Group, the brand has focused on partnerships to accelerate growth. The first of many sees the botanical-based skincare business join forces with Equinox clubs and The Pop-Up Hotel at Glastonbury 2024. There's no doubt that this method is a credible way for brands to engage with their audiences and drive awareness. spoke to CEO Anna Teal about the brand's partnership strategy moving forward. Teal hinted at additional partnerships set to be announced. She said: "We are in conversation with several potential partners across various aspects of our business, within the spaces of technology, music, fashion, and wellness, as well as spa services partnerships. We see this as a breakthrough year for us and partnerships are a critical pillar to our growth,"

Chloé Burney, Senior News & Features Writer.

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy stars in new Jo Malone cologne campaign

Jo Malone London signing up actor Tom Hardy on a two-year deal as an ambassador looks like a very smart move from the Estée Lauder-owned brand, as it looks to really make its mark in the men’s fragrance market.

A TV commercial for its ‘Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense’ is currently running - starring Hardy in typical cool and moody form, directed by Edward Berger, who won an Academy Award for Best International Feature Film for 2022’s ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. It’s even a family affair, as the quirky short film is based on a script by the actor’s father, Chips Hardy, and is centred around London at night.

A London native, Hardy’s ruggedness has a wide appeal, honed in his screen roles in the likes of ‘Peaky Blinders’ and films such as ‘The Revenant’ – opposite Leo Di Caprio, and ‘Legend’, where he played both Kray brothers, Reggie and Ronnie.

What’s great for Jo Malone London is that he has apparently already been a fan of the particular scent for a while anyway (though that may just be a decent bit of PR work). He’s quoted as saying: "To me, Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense is a wonderfully classic vintage and earthy scent." Looks like they found the right man for the job.

Tom Bottomley, Contributing Editor.


Tesco teams up with suppliers to tackle hygiene poverty with In Kind Direct

I always put some hygiene products into the Food Bank donations box at my local supermarket, so this initiative from Tesco and the In Kind Direct charity, founded by King Charles back in 1996, warms my heart. When people are struggling so much to cover their cost of living that they resort to having to try to use hygiene products from public conveniences or need to borrow them from family and friends, then you know something has gone very wrong.

Being clean and presentable is a basic human dignity (not just for appearance's sake but also for the benefit of mental and physical health) that everyone should have access to. Therefore, I wanted to take the time here to applaud this initiative, which involves the supermarket giant joining forces with Andrex, Aquafresh, Bodyform, Radox, Sure and Wilkinson Sword to help distribute millions of personal care items to people who are in need.

I hope others in the industry are inspired by this and ask themselves if there are similar schemes they might get involved in.

Lauretta Roberts, Co-founder, CEO and Editor-in-Chief.

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