Next has sealed a deal to transform Debenhams’ Silverburn store in Glasgow into its own beauty hall concept after Debenhams announced it would not reopen following the easing of the coronavirus lockdown.
The fashion retailer said it has agreed a deal with retail landlord Hammerson for five new sites across the UK.
Trading as The Beauty Hall, Next said it is also in discussions for a “small number” of further sites as it continues to grow its beauty business.
Last year it acquired the Fabled beauty brand from Ocado, after an initial online collaboration in the previous year.
The high street stalwart said it is working with its retail teams and brand partners to ensure its stores adhere to Government social distancing guidelines and are safe for customers and staff when they open.
It added that it plans to hire staff with beauty retail experience and is therefore “likely” to offer positions to former Debenhams staff.
Simon Wolfson, Next’s chief executive, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to work with existing and new beauty brand partners to create a new force in beauty retailing – bringing our online business to life through premium store environments in some of the UK’s most important retail locations.”
David Atkins, Hammerson’s chief executive, said: “This is a really challenging time for all of us, so it’s really encouraging to see strong, innovative brands like Next work with us to plan for the future.”
The deal is a boost to shopping centre owner Hammerson, which saw its £400m deal to sell seven UK retail parks collapse on Wednesday.
On Wednesday night, Debenhams said that despite “best efforts” it had been unable to agree terms with shopping centre owner Hammerson to reopen five branches, after falling into administration last month.
A spokesman for Debenhams said: “We can confirm that despite our best efforts, we have been unable to agree terms with Hammerson on our five stores in its shopping centres, and so they will not be reopening.
“We continue to engage in constructive talks with our landlords and have agreed terms on the vast majority of our stores, which we look forward to reopening when government restrictions allow.
“This is no reflection on the commitment of our colleagues in these stores and we are extremely grateful for their support.”
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