I was recently invited along to new and improved The Grafton in Cambridge. Just in case you aren’t aware, The Grafton recently underwent a £28.5m refurbishment which has created new retail spaces, attracted new brands, improved the visitor experience, and upped footfall to the centre. Now, I have to be completely honest and say that I haven’t visited The Grafton in years. When I was a teenager (many moons ago) I would shop there with friends on a Saturday. Recently I’ve headed straight to town to shop so I was interested to see how the mall had changed.
The Grafton has undergone a serious makeover – think 10 Years Younger (does anyone remember watching that?). It is the only destination in Cambridge which offers shopping, dining and leisure all under one roof. The design is sleek and modern with lots of natural light, feature lighting and new flooring. The open spaces seem to flow much better and I could actually see myself shop and have lunch here.
We were also there to hear about the Debenhams store, one of only two department stores in Cambridge. Debenhams has redesigned its in store beauty retailing experience and opened its new Beauty Hall of the Future concept. The Grafton store is only one of five to feature the concept.
The Beauty Hall has been designed to create a modern and welcoming space where customers can interact with established and breakthrough brands, and discover and learn about products while they experiment with them
The areas have been created with different themes in mind like the Skincare Lab and Colour Lab, as well as introducing categories such as men’s grooming and premium haircare. A highlight also has to be The Mini Bar which is like a pick and mix (think Woolworths) of travel sized products.
The store also has an online beauty community called Beauty Club Community where users can give and receive beauty advice, talk about trends, and earn points and rewards.
There are a whole host of beauty services available in store which include a Beauty Bar powered by Blow Ltd, where you can easily book in on your lunch hour for a manicure, blow dry, lash and brow treatment and even a makeover.
I feel like Debenhams new strategy has positioned the department store as more of an authority in the beauty sector. Would I go there to sample products and get advice? Well, I’m actually thinking of doing just that. Maybe it’s time for a bit of a makeover. Watch this space……….
While this isn’t a sponsored post I did receive a goodie bag after the event which contained a gift voucher.