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Lane Crawford Unveils Faces

HONG KONG — Lane Crawford is officially launching today a cosmetics concept store, called Faces, adjacent to its Kowloon unit on Canton Road....

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HONG KONG — Lane Crawford is officially launching today a cosmetics concept store, called Faces, adjacent to its Kowloon unit on Canton Road.

The new store, located in the Harbour City mall, contains 13,000 square feet of selling space and is aimed at a younger, trendier, more adventurous customer than those who shop next door at the pricier, upscale Lane Crawford.

The Lane Crawford chain consists of six stores, four in Hong Kong and two in mainland China. They are located in Shanghai and in Harbin on the Russian border.

Lane Crawford expanded its Canton Road store earlier this spring, opening a 15,000-square-foot cosmetics area. The assortment in that store was expanded from 29 cosmetics and skin care brands to 45. The remodeled Lane Crawford store was reopened in April on the heels of the SARS outbreak.

Now, it is being flanked by Faces, which houses another 65 beauty vendors. They include Clinique, Nars, MAC Cosmetics, L’Oréal Paris, Bloom, Make Up For Ever, Smashbox, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Carolina Herrera, Philosophy, Versace, Moschino, Mont Blanc, Nina Ricci, Prada, Jurlique, Aveda, Escada, Dunhill, Borghese, Baiame, Kose, Weleda, Roger & Gallet, Joey New York, Burt’s Bees and Anna Sui, among others. The chain now manages a total of 110 prestige beauty brands among its Hong Kong stores.

The assortment and decor are designed to promote an ambience of fashion-driven backstage animation. Plasma video screens suspended from the ceiling beam interviews done during last fall’s runway shows, with celebrity makeup artists like Pat McGrath, Linda Cantrell, Dick Page and Tom Pecheux. To promote the backstage ambience, the new retail space also includes spa services, reflexology, treatment rooms and a juice bar.

Laura Wenke, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Lane Crawford, said the store design is meant to encourage customers to “linger and learn” makeup tips on how to put together an eye look or a lip treatment.

It is expected that the business will be more item-driven, rather than driven by sales of entire skin care regimens, as is the case at Lane Crawford. Wenke compared the appeal of Faces to that of Starbucks. “We’re inviting them to come in and spend the afternoon and play,” she said.

Lane Crawford has been building its beauty business with 15 percent increases during the past four years. Industry sources estimate the new Faces store could generate nearly $10 million, or 70 million Hong Kong dollars,in retail sales the first year. Observers calculate Faces could do 50 to 60 percent of Lane Crawford’s sales.

The new store had a soft opening on Aug. 30 and executives are looking forward to Golden Week, the national holiday that runs Oct. 1-10.

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