The former beauty hall was in a sun-filled space on the store’s ground floor, facing towards the busy corner of Granville Street and Dunsmuir Street. The new beauty hall has been moved downstairs into space formerly occupied by menswear — the men’s department has moved, now featuring its own Howe Street entrance.
While the new beauty floor lacks external windows, it has grown in size to about 16,000 square feet. The department can be accessed from the store’s dramatic oval atrium which connects the store’s three floors. The beauty hall features 29 distinct brand counters, as well as nine private cabines that provide facial and skincare treatments by appointment.
Natural light infiltrates the new beauty hall from the central atrium skylight and as well, Schwinghammer Lighting amplified the space with its lighting design solutions. The department’s floors are a composite pattern of two European marbles: “Blue de Savoie” and “Ice Marble”, and wall treatments are of Travertine Marble in “Escarpment Light”. The effect is almost surreal.
The new beauty floor was designed by New York City-based Janson Goldstein, which is overseeing the renovation and expansion of the Vancouver Holt Renfrew store. The store annexed about 40,000 square feet of retail space and now measures close to 190,000 square feet, and the store’s overhaul will continue into 2018. Janson Goldstein designed the original flagship that opened in 2007, and is overseeing the latest expansion. The 2007 store replaced a much smaller unit in the mall that opened in 1975.
-Holt Renfrew Opens Vancouver Flagship Expansion [Photos] (September 2016)
Premium brands in the store include staples such as Giorgio Armani and Chanel, and new brands such as Darphin, ReVive, and Korean skincare brand Sulwhasoo have been added. Canada’s first Christian Louboutin beauty boutique joins shop-in-stores for brands such as Jo Malone (including a “tasting bar”) and a La Mer boutique carrying some products priced into the four figures. An adjacent fragrance section carries many of the world’s leading brands.
Cosmetic floors in department stores often do high volume sales and as a result, are considered to be destinations. As such, some stores are finding that they can place cosmetic departments into real estate that might be considered ‘less desirable’, such as on the lower level of a store. Bergdorf Goodman in New York City pioneered the idea in 1999 when it sank its cosmetics department into its basement — Barneys New York followed, as have a number of downtown luxury department store flagships globally. And sources say that CF Pacific Centre might not be the last Holt Renfrew store to see a basement-level cosmetics department, as the company initiates more store expansions and renovations this fall.
See below for more photos by our Vancouver correspondent, Ritchie Po.