MEET THE BEAUTY RETAIL REINE
As Head of Buying Beauty & Fashion Accessories for House of Fraser, Debbie Beaumont-Howell has quite a lot on her plate. Her fascination with the world of beauty stems from her mother, who sold early theatrical make-up. Since 2006, she has been at the beauty helm at House of Fraser, where her role includes identifying key trends and new brands to keep the venerable beauty store up to the moment for consumers. Debbie’s vision include highlighting niche brands and expanding HOF services to include cosmetic beauty treatments as well as the British institution’s most spectacular new home at Westfield, London’s modern and sprawling shopping centre.
What are the hottest trends in beauty retailing for 2009?
I believe that the hottest trend for beauty in 2009 is one-stop destinations where your face, eyes, hair and nails can all be cared for in one go. We have recently introduced a brand called new <id cosmetics that promises to do all that in their ‘Style Stop.’ A client’s needs can be met and individually tailored for them, in record time. Convenience for our customers are is very important too.
What criteria do you look for when choosing a beauty brand for House of Fraser?
High quality and innovation, something that is completely unique that gives the brand a point of difference. We want to ensure that House of Fraser continues to be a beauty destination and retains its position as the UK’s only premium department store that has a wide distribution.
What are your personal beauty secrets?
Lots of sleep, water and laughter, combined with regular exfoliation and sunblock! Even in the UK, sunblock is paramount to keeping skin looking young.
What are shopaholics looking for most in a beauty product right now?
Due to the current climate where people are spending more cautiously, I believe that beauty buyers are returning to the classic products, those that they know and love. Crucially, they return to products that work and are tried and true, although they still love newness for colour cosmetics.
Are you a mom?
Yes, I am a mom to a daughter who is 13.
What’s your favorite bag?
Usually the one I am carrying on the day I am carrying it! My current favourite is a Lanvin bag.