Mecca redesigns a new future
Beauty addicts around Australia can rejoice – luxury beauty brand Mecca Cosmetica has just undergone a vibrant, retro-inspired redesign that pays homage to the ’60s and ’70s, featuring beautiful bespoke fixtures and a broad range of new make-up services.
Launched in conjunction with its 20th anniversary, the redesign was first unveiled at the Chadstone store in Melbourne, with the Bondi Westfield store to follow this week and others to be rolled out across Australia in the future.
“Our stores have been a constant evolution. The original premise of the Mecca store design was to create a space that customers would love to spend time in – much like an inviting, contemporary living room,” explains founder Jo Horgan.
“The test for me – when I walk into one of our new stores – is if I would be happy living in the space. If the answer is ‘yes’, then happy days.”
Adds creative director Marita Burke: “Our customer is a savvy, discerning and global shopper, she expects a directional store environment as much as she expects directional beauty trends, and we want to provide this.”
The swinging ’60s
When it came to reimagining Mecca’s store design, Horgan returned to collaborating with consultants Meacham Nockles, who have previously worked on the brand’s sophisticated store fitouts.
“The clear optimistic colour palette echoes a luminous ‘60s kind of futurism as expressed by the greats, such as (furniture designer) Pierre Paulin – there’s the ‘60s Castiglioni Snoopy lamp and the ‘70s Saporiti armchair,” explains Horgan.
“I love the quietly confident aspects of the store, such as the detailing throughout, the shopfront, which is so different to anything we have done across the brand and the pops of colour that permeate the store which are super modern – they start on the exterior and extend through the store and celebrate essentially what we are about.”
Other highlights include custom-made fragrance cabinets, gridded lucite wall lights, spun brass custom lighting, honeycomb ceilings and a wall papered display from French luxury candle brand Diptyque.
A hunger for retail services
According to Horgan, when she first launched her beauty business in Melbourne, the premise of the store was to offer customers a brand-agnostic experience when shopping for cosmetics. Since then, their needs have changed, which is now reflected in the redesign.
It’s reflective of a general trend in the industry at the moment, as more retailers are beginning to focus more on services for their customers, from pet shops and health food stores to an increase in childcare centres and nail bars in shopping centres.
“Over time, the demand for services – makeup artistry and skin services – has grown exponentially and we’ve had to take this into account with new store designs which reflect a more service-orientated model,” Horgan explains.
“Customers are so savvy and informed (much of which is due to social media) and in many cases, they know what they want before they come into store, so [we need] to deliver a service that’s welcoming and inclusive but can also give them freedom to play. On top of that, the demand for services is at an all-time high and that, of course, has had a huge impact in new store design.”
One of the new features is the central Beauty Play Bar, which Horgan describes as “a contemporary dressing table” made from a luxurious mix of marble, brass and lucite and encourages customers to experiment with the latest products and techniques.
“The challenge is making sure the concepts work for the customers. It’s fun coming up with gorgeous design concepts – say across Trove or Mecca Jetset or the Beauty Bar – but they ultimately need to work for the customer,” she points out.
Meanwhile, with the addition of more makeup stations, up to 12 customers can now receive lessons, group workshops, skin consultations and makeup applications. Digital look books are also now available, offering customers inspiration on the latest trends and looks.
The new redesigned Mecca stores also focus on travel, with the inclusion of the new Mecca Jetset space, a sunny yellow and tangerine gloss backdrop for luggage-sized goodies to take away or test.
“Another design feature I love is the Gifting Bar. Mecca has increasingly become a gifting destination and gifting should be joyful – not just the purchase of the product but the gorgeous wrapping as well,” says Horgan.
“We provide a customised service that takes the hassle out of gifting for our customers and delivers that completely joyful experience.”
Another concept currently in select Mecca Cosmetica stores is Trove, an area showcasing exclusive, niche brands from around the world which the brand incubates and are eventually stocked in all stores.
During its 20th birthday in October, the brand held month-long in-store celebrations for customers and offered them exclusive treatments such as facials, skin diagnoses, spray tans and beauty consultations from world-renowned experts such as Kate Somerville and Terry De Gunzberg.
Mecca also collaborated with several brands to offer new and exclusive Mecca20 products, including lipsticks from Nars, an international pre-launch of Formasetti’s new flora candle and an ambient lighting palette from Hourglass. Last week, the brand welcomed MAC cosmetics into its stable.
“Having the opportunity to celebrate with our customers and thank them for their support was paramount to the Mecca20 celebrations. There would be no Mecca if it wasn’t for our band of incredibly loyal, passionate and engaged customers,” says Horgan.
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