Shoppers Stop Ltd plans to open standalone stores for premium beauty brand Nars Cosmetics by August-September, a top company executive said, after the department store chain partnered Japan’s Shiseido earlier this year to bring the brand to India.

The company is also set to expand its Home Stop format, after it hired a new team to revamp stores and expand offerings.

On 8 March, Shiseido Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd signed a distribution partnership with Global SS Beauty Brands Ltd, a subsidiary of Shoppers Stop, to officially launch its global make-up brand Nars in India. Nars Cosmetics stores will come up either late second quarter or early third quarter, said Venu Nair, managing director and CEO, Shoppers Stop. “So roughly between, I would say, August-September is what we are aiming for could slip into October,” Nair said in an interview.

Nars plans to become one of the top three premium beauty brands in India, said Nair. “Nars as a brand, is very conscious, there’s extensive customer research that has been done and the pricing would be appropriate for the market when it is launched. Let’s put it this way—Nars Cosmetics has a very strong ambition for the market and wants to be one of the top three players in the country,” he said.

In FY23, the retailer clocked Rs.804 crore in beauty sales, up 54% from a year earlier; beauty now contributes 16% to the company’s business.

Shiseido sells beauty and fragrance brands Shiseido, Nars, Drunk Elephant, Clé de Peau Beauté, Narciso Rodriguez, Issey Miyake and Serge Lutens, among others. In India, it already retails products under the Shiseido brand. Meanwhile, Shoppers Stop already operates over 142 specialty beauty stores of M.A.C, Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Jo Malone, Too Faced and SS Beauty in India.

Shoppers Stop holds the right to both distribute and open standalone stores for brand Nars in India. Entry of Nars Cosmetics, that sells lip colours, foundation and other coloured make-up points to the rapid premiumization of the country’s beauty market.

Earlier this year, Shoppers Stop appointed Kavindra Mishra as the chief commercial officer for external brands and CEO of Home Stop.

Nair said several of the Home Stop formats are set to undergo a revamp as its spruces up collections and store layouts. The retailer is reviewing the layout, brand and category mix. However, the Home Stop business, with seven stores, is still small.

“The other area we are focussing on now is home — we have seven Home Stop stores. Apart from that, home as a category is available in 50 of our stores. This is another category which we believe there is an opportunity for us to grow. The idea behind Kavindra coming in was to maximize on the opportunity that exists on home…Also the team under him has been strengthened bringing in professionals from the home space so that we are able to maximize on that,” he said. Home is not a large business for us at the moment and we expect that to become larger than what it is today,” Nair added.

In the March quarter, Shoppers Stop reported sales of 1,175 crore, up 32% year-on-year. During the quarter, the company opened two department stores as well as one beauty store.

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