Rituals to go head to head with Molton Brown

Dutch cosmetics group aims to bring ‘slow shopping’ to Grafton Street

Rituals opened an outlet at Kildare Village last November.

Rituals opened an outlet at Kildare Village last November.

 

Dutch cosmetics group Rituals is set to go head to head with rival beauty brand Molton Brown on Dublin’s Grafton Street.

The lifestyle and beauty brand, which opened a discount outlet at Kildare Village last November, is embarking upon an international expansion strategy, which has also seen it open new locations in London Bridge and Birmingham. Founded by chief executive Raymond Cloosterman, Rituals opened its first store in Amsterdam in 2000, and now has a presence on many of the world’s leading shopping thoroughfares including Fifth Avenue in New York and London’s Covent Garden, and is present in 27 countries globally, with 500-plus stores.

Its new Dublin location, at 81 Grafton Street, was previously operated by H Samuel jewellers, and is located adjacent to Molton Brown, which has a similar offering of luxury bath, body and beauty goods.

Earlier this month Rituals Cosmetics Ireland put in a planning application to change the use of the store from a jewellers to a home and body retailer. The alterations of the location, which is owned by W.P & R.O Holdings Property Ltd, include installation of new glazing and frames, a new door to the side elevation, new plinth detail and new timber fascia and pilaster complete with moulding.

According to the company’s planning application, 11 of the 88 retail units on Grafton Street, long seen as the country’s most expensive shopping street, are jewellers, with just five cosmetics stores, including Molton Brown and Space NK. A letter submitted to the planners from BNP Paribas Real Estate, argues that if a landlord of a leading shopping centre had a choice between H Samuel or Rituals, they would be “extremely surprised if, from a tenant/user mix perspective, they opted for a discount jewellers over a premium international cosmetics brand”.

The Rituals collection includes home fragrances, perfumes, baby products and make-up. It promises a unique “slow shopping” concept, which features a welcoming tea ceremony.