Secret Shopper: The battle of Sephora, Boots and Space NK at Westfield London - Indoors Beauty

Secret Shopper: The battle of Sephora, Boots and Space NK at Westfield London

Secret Shopper: The battle of Sephora, Boots and Space NK at Westfield London

Westfield London is at the moment dwelling to 46 well being and magnificence areas. In latest months, the procuring centre has develop into a very well-liked magnificence hotspot with the opening of Sephora, relocation of Space NK, and revamped Boots retailer all launching because the begin of the yr.

For TheIndustry.magnificence’s newest Secret Shopper, I headed to Westfield London to take a look at Sephora, Boots and Space NK, evaluating their in-store providing to see how every retail expertise compares.

Sephora's store at Westfield London // Shepherd's Bush Sephora UK store

Sephora at Westfield London


I started my procuring expertise at Sephora. This was my second go to to the shop, after beforehand attending the press and influencer launch occasion in March. With a shiny look, new manufacturers and even a efficiency by the Sugababes, it gave an excellent first impression. So, after I returned to the shop just a few months later, I used to be wanting to see the way it was doing.

Having exited the UK market after I was a baby and solely returning inside the previous yr, Sephora was solely ever accessible to me when looking down the retailer’s shops any time I went overseas. So, being greeted by its huge glowing sign up Westfield London nonetheless feels somewhat unusual… however above all thrilling!

Entering at round 4pm on a Monday, the shop was simply the proper of busy. I used to be in a position to navigate the house with ease, helped by the sweetness class signage across the retailer – one thing I additionally loved at Boots and Space NK.

As I browsed the product shows, the general maintenance of the shop was barely much less spectacular. This wasn’t the case for all the things, as some shows had been gleaming and absolutely stocked. However, at the time, fairly just a few testers had been lacking, sure (usually well-liked) merchandise had no inventory, and some shows had been left almost or absolutely empty – leaving the shop feeling a bit disorganised in locations. Perhaps Sephora remains to be getting used to working within the UK, however it should supply a seamless retail expertise if it is to stand-out amongst the competitors.

That being mentioned, the house has some nice options. The coronary heart of the shop is outlined by a ‘magnificence hub’, which gives a quantity of experiences throughout make-up, skincare, haircare, perfume, bodycare. Dotted across the retailer, I additionally loved the enjoyable shows (after they had been stuffed with merchandise), comparable to ‘The Next Big Thing’, ‘Hot on Social’ and ‘Haircare Bestsellers’.

The total model providing at Sephora Westfield London can be interesting. I might simply fill a basket (or two) with some of the brand new and unique merchandise out there in-store. Whilst I resisted the urge to splash some money this time, I did buy just a few Sephora own-brand face masks earlier than leaving the shop.

Boots Westfield London

Boots at Westfield London


After Sephora, I made my means all the way down to Boots. This gives a barely totally different procuring expertise from Sephora and Space NK, because it affords each well being and magnificence. Boots has fame within the UK – it is a excessive road favorite. So, this makes it troublesome for me to think about the retailer ever being pushed out by a competitor like Sephora or Space NK – particularly because it at the moment has a a lot greater retailer footprint.

However, the opening of Sephora actually has made positive Boots retains tempo. Coinciding with Sephora’s bricks-and-mortar return to the UK, Boots revamped its Westfield London magnificence corridor in March. The timing of this was no coincidence and is totally comprehensible – Space NK did the same factor just a few months earlier by opening a newly upsized retailer at the procuring centre.

Like Sephora, Boots Westfield London boasts a vivid and inviting house. Its huge home windows and entrance affords customers a preview into the shop and its expansive product providing even earlier than coming into.

The retailer’s up to date magnificence corridor is separated into two important areas. The first, situated on the left, encompasses a selection of excessive road favourites comparable to Collection, Barry M and Rimmel, amongst many others. On the fitting, the second space is dwelling to a variety of extra premium magnificence concessions, together with Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty, Estée Lauder and Chanel. This felt like set-up as the shop teams the extra inexpensive manufacturers collectively, leaving the premium manufacturers (the place prospects is likely to be on the lookout for a extra useful and private procuring expertise) to devoted concessions accompanied by ‘magnificence specialists’.

The house additionally options trending zones, discovery areas and session areas. I significantly preferred the ‘combine it up’ station, which featured heaps of mini merchandise throughout skincare and make-up. Curated product edits like this have develop into extra widespread in magnificence shops and seem to be an effective way to interact prospects past normal product shows.

Space NK Westfield

Space NK at Westfield London

Space NK

Located close to Boots, I lastly wandered throughout to Space NK. Simply put, the shop is gorgeous. The picket accents, daring imagery and heat lighting felt so inviting!

Having spoken with Space NK’s CEO Andy Lightfoot a few earlier retailer opening final yr, I remembered that the retailer has been elevating its retailer design idea – and it is actually paying off! As half of this, Space NK Westfield London encompasses a mild herringbone flooring to assist draw the eye-line by means of the house. It additionally makes use of extra imagery and has modified the way in which it merchandises manufacturers to make it simpler to distinguish the place one model begins and one other ends.

Whilst smaller than Sephora and Boots, Space NK affords a extra intimate, premium procuring expertise. With manufacturers comparable to Nars, Rose Inc, JVN Hair, Tatcha and Diptyque, the retailer’s providing spans skincare, make-up, haircare, bodycare and perfume.

A selected pull for Space NK is Rare Beauty by Selena Gomez. Since its launch in 2019, the model has surged in reputation. Taking benefit of this demand, Rare Beauty was housed in a devoted concession with imagery neatly positioned close to Space NK’s retailer entrance. This is clearly efficient, as rather a lot of the merchandise had been bought out!

Aside from the retail providing, the shop additionally features a small magnificence companies space. This permits prospects to attempt merchandise and entry complimentary shade matching, make-up tutorials and skincare consultations. In Westfield London’s busy magnificence retail panorama, these companies are an important half of Sephora, Boots and Space NK’s retail offering- serving to them to entice customers in-store with these elevated buyer experiences.


Space NK and Boots profit from having bodily retail in some nice areas. As a outcome, each retailers have constructed up a really loyal buyer base. However, Sephora remains to be benefitting from the thrill of its opening. Its extremely anticipated return outperformed expectations by 300%, in response to Sephora’s CEO Christopher de Lapuente. So, it will likely be attention-grabbing to see if this pleasure continues or if customers will favour extra acquainted retailers like Boots or Space NK.

Perhaps every enterprise will co-exist harmoniously, as I see every retailer as having a barely totally different demographic. To me, the Space NK buyer is barely older and extra prosperous, Sephora’s is youthful, extra experimental and model obsessed, and Boots’ is loyal and somebody who enjoys the benefit of procuring well being and magnificence in a single place.

However, I count on every retailer will wish to be the perfect – and rightly so! Therefore, unique manufacturers, distinctive buyer experiences and factors of distinction are actually essential for Sephora, Boots and Space NK as they attempt to win over customers at Westfield London. I consider they’re doing this pretty effectively, however there’s at all times room to attempt for even higher!

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