Mecca rebrands concessions, eyes big 2016

MECCAMecca has begun rebranding its Kit Cosmetics concessions, located in six Myer department stores, to the Mecca banner, ahead of more ambitious growth in 2016.

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Mecca was started by former L’Oréal Paris executive, Jo Horgan, in 1997 with a single Mecca Cosmetic store. In 2005, the brand launched Kit Cosmetics, followed by a larger beauty concept, Mecca Maxima, in 2010.

By the end of 2015, the beauty chain will have 67 stores across Australia and New Zealand, including 36 Mecca Cosmetica stores, 23 Mecca Maxima stores, and seven Mecca doors, made up of six Myer concessions and one ‘Mecca Pop’.

The first rebranded Mecca within Myer opened earlier this month at Chadstone shopping centre in Melbourne. Five other locations, including Brisbane, Perth, Sydney CBD, Chatswood in Sydney’s North, and Melbourne, are to be converted to Mecca Pops until their full renovation early in the New Year.

“We’ve found that the Mecca brand name resonates incredibly well across our broader customer base. When they think beauty, they think ‘Mecca’, and so we felt that it was the right time to insert the Mecca brand into our partnership with Myer,” Horgan told Inside Retail Weekly of the decision to rebrand Kit.

“With this new concept we are taking the very best of Kit, a concept we launched 10 years ago, and upscaling that offering in a couple of ways. In addition to our Kit brands, we are introducing a number of Mecca Maxima’s favourite exclusive brands to this customer for the first time. And, with our new Mecca concept, we’re also able to offer our Myer customers access to our popular rewards program, Beauty Loop, which wasn’t accessible to Kit customers.”

Mecca Myer boasts a “sleeker” store design, according to Horgan, as well as self-service, dedicated play stations, and new brands including NARS, Eve Lom, Kate Somerville, and Comme des Garcons.

“We considered our department store environment and customer and felt that we needed to refresh and elevate our offering in this space,” Horgan said. “We’ve done that with a Mecca-branded design that is a sleeker, more sophisticated look, and one that is easier to navigate.

“We’ve borrowed from the Mecca Maxima model, which boasts a self-service option (that wasn’t available in Kit) where the customer can navigate her own shopping experience, grab a basket to self serve, and experiment with product at dedicated play stations.”

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Mecca on the move
Following the rollout of Mecca’s new Myer concepts, the brand will refurbish two of its flagship sites in Sydney and Melbourne in early 2016, with Horgan admitting the brand has, “another ambitious year of growth ahead for 2016”.

Mecca recently upgraded its Mecca Cosmetica store in the Canberra Centre and will open a Mecca Cosmetica in the new Eastland development in Ringwood, Melbourne at the end of this month. Eastland will also house Mecca’s largest Mecca Maxima store to date which is slated to open at the end of the year. Four additional Mecca Maxima stores will also open by year’s end, at Sydney’s QVB, Northland in Victoria, Chadstone (to be a Maxima Pop concept), and Brisbane Airport.

At 115sqm its first ever airport store is slightly smaller than regular Maxima stores, and will carry Maxima’s mix of exclusive brands such as NARS, Urban Decay, Hourglass, Bobbi Brown, Clarisonic, and ghd. Horgan says there will also be a focus on convenient travel sizes and kits.  

“Mecca Maxima Brisbane Airport will open in late November as our first airport store, and we’re really excited to explore the potential of that location and customer,” Horgan said.

Last year, Mecca Cosmetica opened a new flagship on Toorak Rd in Melbourne. At 200sqm, double the average footprint of a Mecca Cosmetica store, the flagship features an instore fragrance room; Mecca Trove, a dedicated area for up and coming beauty brands; and an adjoining standalone Nars boutique, the first bricks and mortar presence for the international cosmetic brand in Australia.

Mecca Trove goes back to the origins on the Mecca brand, introducing new and niche brands to the Australian market. Mecca Trove features 10 “under the radar brands”, as described by Hogan, in an effort to promote independent labels. Mecca Trove has been rolled out to further stores, and will continue to be a priority in 2016.

“We’ve been focusing on our new Mecca Trove concept (in select Cosmetica stores) which heroes small niche brands that we’re predicting will be the next big names in beauty and we will continue our focus on Trove in 2016 with some exciting new launches.”

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