Saks Fifth Avenue to roll out new salon concept — with augmented reality


Saks Fifth Avenue is debuting a new salon concept with a futuristic edge.

The luxury department store retailer is partnering with Joel Warren, co-founder of the Warren-Tricomi hair salon chain, on the Salon Project, which will offer hair care, skin care and beauty services along with a medical spa and retail. The concept will launch this fall at Saks' store in Huntington, New York, with additional locations at Saks' stores in Houston and Boca Raton, Fla., opening by 2018. The concept will open in Saks' New York City flagship in fall 2019. In all, the concept will be rolled out in in 10 U.S. Saks stores during the next two years.

Designed by New York City-based design and build firm RPG, the salons will range in size between 3,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft., with an environment described as "20th-century retro meets modern classical glamour." The space, which includes many contemporary twists, will not have the typical salon front desk to check in clients. Instead, customers will check in with concierges equipped with iPads which will direct them to their designated station.

The stations are designed with sink, services and retail together so that the customer can remain there for the duration of their services. At their seats, clients can use augmented reality technology to try on products available in the salon's inventory and test lipsticks from a try-on bar cart, all while receiving recommendations from their hairdresser who can complete product purchase transactions from an iPad.

"This is the salon of the future by combining stores like Apple, Sephora and a high-end salon and spa," said Warren. "As soon as guests walk in, they will literally enter a virtual reality. Screens will be set up right at the entrance, which will allow clients the ability to virtually try on lipsticks and other cosmetics, then purchase products or add on services on the spot."

Warren, who left Warren-Tricomi in 2016, is creating his own makeup line and hopes the salon will be a “brand incubator” and showcase for curated, independent retail lines, reported the New York Post.