In History: Space NK, a timeline of a beauty retail trailblazer - Indoors Beauty

In History: Space NK, a timeline of a beauty retail trailblazer

In History: Space NK, a timeline of a beauty retail trailblazer

News emerged final week that Space NK proprietor Manzanita Capital is making ready to place the British retailer up on the market with a price ticket of as much as £400 million because it seems to capitalise on its latest success.

It comes on the again of sturdy buying and selling for the beauty enterprise because it continues to strategically put money into its on-line and in-store experiences, positioning itself as a extra premium retailer than the likes of Boots, Superdrug and Sephora within the UK.

TheBusiness.beauty has taken an in-depth take a look at Space NK over time as a potential sale looms.

Founded by Nicky Kinnaird in 1991, Space NK first opened its doorways in Covent Garden in 1993, promoting contemporary smoothies, unbiased vogue labels, and hard-to-find beauty merchandise from rising worldwide manufacturers reminiscent of Diptyque, By Terry and NARS.

Shortly after this, in 1996, Kinnaird determined to focus solely on beauty, handpicking the curated assortment herself and launching a mail order service that very same 12 months to strengthen the retailer’s attain.

The enterprise shortly earned a repute for its portfolio of manufacturers and merchandise earlier than being snapped up by Manzanita in 2002 to speed up its progress even additional, with Kinnaird remaining near the enterprise.

As it continued to bolster its retailer footprint, the retailer opened one other flagship retailer at Duke of York Square in London in 2003 and launched on-line in 2004, catering to the rising curiosity in e-commerce.

It then set its sights on worldwide growth, touchdown in New York City in 2007 and launching its on-line retail supply within the area in 2008. Space NK’s US growth was additional strengthened by a partnership with division retailer chain Bloomingdale’s, with concession-style areas opened in its shops, in addition to a cope with QVC.

Fast ahead to 2014 and Kinnaird determined to depart Space NK after virtually 21 years to ascertain her personal model consultancy. As half of this, she continued to seek the advice of for the retailer, amongst different manufacturers.

Four years later, Manzanita was then stated to be contemplating parting methods with the enterprise. At the time, Unilever was rumoured to be desirous about shopping for it. However, a deal by no means materialised and Space NK continued on its retail journey with the agency, appointing Andy Lightfoot as CEO in 2019, a position he stays in as we speak.

Lightfoot got down to “show Space NK as a main omnichannel and customer-centric retailer”, focusing on additional on-line and in-store progress throughout the UK and US. “Retail is more and more aggressive, however we’re bucking the development of the excessive avenue prepared for subsequent stage of progress,” he stated on the time.

As half of this progress technique, in 2020, the retailer determined to shut all its US shops to concentrate on its wholesale enterprise within the area, which included partnerships with shops Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, in addition to Walmart two years later.

However, the retailer nonetheless continued to put money into its retailer portfolio throughout the pond, highlighting its confidence within the UK excessive avenue following the pandemic as customers returned to retailers.

Space NK

Space NK opened its first-ever double-level retailer in Covent Garden in June 2022, spanning 2,000 sq ft and providing a bigger edit of beauty manufacturers than ever earlier than.

“When we take a look at new shops, we’re now greater areas as a result of our choice has expanded and we have got so many superb manufacturers that we want to ensure we have got the house for,” Lightfoot advised TheBusiness.beauty in an interview on the time.

Following this, the retailer then opened an upsized unit at Westfield London in 2023, marking its largest retailer up to now. Spanning 2,500 sq ft, the house closely focuses on buyer wants. It got here as Sephora landed within the UK and Boots revamped its beauty corridor on the buying centre because the battle of the UK beauty companies heated up.

A quantity of different openings additionally adopted since, together with the retailer’s metropolis debut at Liverpool ONE, plus a new retailer in Edinburgh and a flagship location in Manchester introduced final month.

space nk

As it continues to put money into shops, operations, know-how and buyer acquisition, Space NK stated the choice taken within the earlier monetary 12 months to proceed to speculate with a purpose to gasoline progress “is now paying a return”.

Earlier this 12 months, it reported a 23% enhance in turnover to £146 million for the 12 months ending 25 March 2023, helped by the continued funding in its retailer property. Space NK noticed retailer gross sales rise by 28%, whereas on-line gross sales elevated by 16% in the course of the 12 months.

On the again of these outcomes, Manzanita Capital is now stated to be exploring the sale of Space NK as soon as once more, with stories final week that the agency is in talks to rent bankers to supervise a partial or full sale of the retailer after greater than 20 years beneath its possession.

Manzanita, which additionally owns Diptyque, Malin + Goetz and Susanne Kaufmann, is alleged to be undecided on whether or not to promote a minority or controlling curiosity within the excessive avenue chain. It continues to be unclear which agency would obtain the mandate, however business sources final week stated a resolution is predicted to be made within the close to future.

Consumer and retail development analyst Wizz Selvey believes that the latest success of Space NK presents a horny alternative for each Manzanita and people within the retailer.

“Space NK has repositioned itself within the final three years as a market chief in beauty in my view. Beauty retail has had a quantity of adjustments and turn out to be extra aggressive than ever so I doubt it’s been a straightforward transition however they’ve come out on high,” she advised TheBusiness.beauty.

“It has a sturdy omnichannel expertise throughout digital, plus its shops and loyalty scheme are effectively established. The retailer has labored laborious to safe unique manufacturers and product launches and create experiences for patrons from occasions to effectively curated beauty bins.

“I think about Space NK’s gross sales and revenue could have soared so it is smart for Manzanita to have a look at promoting the corporate when it’s on a excessive.”

Timeline: A quick historical past of Space NK’s milestones

1991 – Space NK is established by Nicky Kinnaird.

1993 – Space NK opens its first retailer in Covent Garden.

1996 – The British retailer shifts its focus solely on beauty, additionally launching a mail order service to strengthen its UK attain.

2002 – Space NK is acquired by Manzanita Capital.

2004 – SpaceNK.com launches for the primary time.

2007 – The enterprise expands into the US with a retailer in New York City. A partnership with Bloomingdale’s adopted shortly after.

2008 – SpaceNK.com launches within the US.

2014 – Nicky Kinnaird departs the enterprise.

2018 – Manzanita considers sale of Space NK, with Unilever rumoured as an celebration. A deal by no means materialised.

2019 – Andy Lightfoot is called as CEO because the enterprise focusses on its technique to elevate its on-line and in-store experiences.

2020 – Space NK closes its US shops to concentrate on its wholesale enterprise within the area with Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom.

2022 – Space NK launches at Walmart throughout the US and opened its first-ever double-level retailer in London’s Covent Garden.

2023 – The retailer opens its largest retailer up to now at Westfield London, alongside a quantity of different nationwide openings.

2024 – Manzanita Capital is alleged to be exploring the sale of Space NK, following a 23% enhance within the retailer’s turnover to £146 million for the 12 months ending 25 March 2023, reported earlier this 12 months.

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