How a futuristic store in China turns beauty into a tourist attraction
Choosing a new lipstick will never be the same again. New shuiyangtang store which opened in Changsa, China’s Hunan Province, earlier this month will change the way we buy beauty and also attract millions of visitors with its immersive way of selling it. With the help of your own ‘beauty butler’ you will for example find the right shade of eyeshadow and by entering a decorative ‘forest’ you will discover the healing power of plants. It’s an immersive way to provide an in-person shopping experience for products that make you look and feel your best.
The sprawling new store – it spans 3,200 square feet – is the first brick-and-mortar location for S’Young International – a major brand owner and distributor for international beauty companies across China. Costing $10 million, the retail emporium is described as an “advanced interactive retail ecosystem” and is located in Changsa, known as the “media capital” of China. The store is located in International Finance Square (IFS) – a high-end shopping destination, which sees an average of 1.2 million customers passing through it every day.
Shuiyangtang merges S’Young’s advanced online capabilities with an offline, hands-on experience. The goal? Elevate beauty to the rank of art and invite Chinese customers to discover a line-up of cult and international brands such as EviDenS de Beauté, Cellex-C, Pier Auge, Margaret Dabbs, Revitalash, Amouage, Xerjoff, Natasha Denona and Zelens .
The store may be built of bricks, but S’Young International has also bet on its digital technology. Customers are therefore offered an AI beauty test to discover their skin type and match them in store with the products that suit them best. Once the AI test results are ready, customers will be connected with a dedicated “beauty butler”, who will recommend the perfect products for them.
By merging offline and online experience, customers can also scan QR codes to purchase products online on Shuiyangtang’s e-commerce platforms on Tmall Global, Douyin (Chinese TikTok) and WeChat, to combine the convenience of online shopping with the need to test the products in person. .
Once in store, you can walk through four distinct areas. With digital works and interactive installations, the Elite Choice is a pop-up section for brands to present their story, as well as a space to highlight the best skincare and beauty products selected by each customer. (The store may use real consumer data to further personalize the experience.)
In the Formulation Lab, customers will find an experiential space for skincare and beauty products with a display wall featuring product videos and images from leading brands around the world. The area also has a decorative forest where you can delve into attributes and age-old wisdom gathered from the natural world.
The Fragrance Gallery, meanwhile, offers a multi-sensory scent testing space with hundreds of niche salon scents to choose from on the display wall.
Dream Dresser, meanwhile, taps into the world of beauty influencers. It is based on a dressing table vanity and offers high-end cult foreign brands for customers to try. With adjustable lighting and tablets providing information on each brand, the chest of drawers offers consumers the opportunity to “enter” the life of a beauty blogger.
To celebrate the opening, S’Young is organizing Genesis of Beauty – 100 Years of Beauty Collection, described as “the most exclusive beauty exhibition in the world”. Some 71,000 pieces are on display, including rare beauty and cosmetic items from collectors around the world. It will also include a ‘Fragrant Mist’ art installation created by British perfume pioneer Jo Malone CBE and renowned Asian artist Mr. Lee Seung Koo, founder of DDINGGU Art IP.
Marshall Chen, Co-Founder and CEO of S’Young International comments, “Our goal is to bring beauty to life in fun and innovative ways and the S’Young team created this premier exhibit out of love. We look forward to seeing the future of the beauty industry continue to lead the way in China. We want to help every consumer discover their most confident self through Shuiyangtang’s fun and interactive vision… It’s the future of beauty.
Genesis of Beauty – 100 Years of Beauty Collection will run for three months from September 1 to November 30, 2022