Fast fashion retailer Forever 21 will open 10 beauty specialty stores this year

By Deanna Utroske contact

- Last updated on GMT

(stock image)
(stock image)

Related tags: Retailing

In collaboration with the retail real estate company GGP, Forever 21 has plans for over a dozen stand-alone beauty boutiques meant to deliver the experiences and products that millennial and Gen Z cosmetics and personal care consumers want.

Plenty of fashion retailers catering to younger shoppers have added beauty sections to their stores relatively recently, like H&M, Urban Outfitters, and Sephora in JCPenny. And, Forever 21 has had its own beauty section for some time too.

Now the retailer is opening specialty beauty boutiques under the name Riley Rose. The first such shop is on track to open September 30 at a mall in downtown Glendale, California, as Samantha Sasso, writing for Refinery29​ reports. Nine more Riley Rose locations will open this year. And, according to a press release from GGP, three more will open in 2018.

Shop talk

The new Riley Rose boutiques are being carefully designed and stocked to meet the expectations of today’s younger beauty consumers.

“Customers have come to expect lifestyle options at their regional shopping centers,”​ observes Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of GGP, Forever 21’s real estate partner on the new venture. “Millennials have embraced the Forever 21 brand, and GGP is thrilled with the introduction of Riley Rose. We know our shoppers will enjoy it,” ​he tells the press.

Experiential specialty beauty shops are becoming the norm: “With the help of interactive, digitally-focused features, the shop will deliver everything from makeup to hair products to K-beauty favorites—all without you having to ever click ‘add to cart’ ever again,”​ writes Sasso.

In a nutshell, “these new, experiential spaces will be focused on accessories, cosmetics and home goods for the millennial consumer,”​ says Do Won Chang, CEO of Forever 21.

Retail realities

As the consumer experience becomes more omnichannel, beauty retail is taking on all sorts of new shapes and forms. Thanks to Sephora, Ulta, Blue Mercury, etc., the experiential specialty boutique is quite common. But there are several other shop formats too.

The concept shop is quite fashionable. Story, which has been operating in New York City for five years now, is currently running its first beauty concept in partnership with Coty​. Retail incubators, like P&G’s Preneur​, showcase the work of startups and entrepreneurs. Conventional department stores like Saks​ are upping their digital game. And conscious consumer ventures like Doing/Living​ are betting on green beauty and humanity-first ventures. 

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