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“You couldn’t move without knowing about Rosie’s fragrance,” customers were saying. 

This neatly summed up the in-store look at Newport’s Marks & Spencer store last Thursday.  

It was launch day for Rosie Huntington-Whitley’s first ever fragrance and, to add to the excitement, it had been announced that the store that sold the most would get a store visit, not from the Head of Beauty or our regional manager, but from the gorgeous Rosie, in person! 

As you’d expect, this generated a great deal of anticipation from store teams. Engagement levels went through the roof and plans went into overdrive to show our customers this great new product. 

The main battle ground in the lead up to launch was Yammer, our internal social media network. Colleagues across the UK shared ideas on how to drive sales and best-practice hints and tips on how to transform the store’s beauty department into a Rosie wonderland. Some store teams even took to wearing rose buttonholes to generate customer conversation around the fragrance. 

Yammer is a phenomenal tool that’s transformed the way we communicate as a store network and the Rosie fragrance launch – rich with multimedia content – was made for the platform. 

Once the product was on sale the excitement switched to the sales floor and I’m extremely proud of the lengths my team went to. Not just the beauty team, colleagues from the café through to the foodhall got involved in spreading the news about Rosie for Autograph. 

We started the day with a team brief in our beauty hall and made sure that we kept the momentum going throughout the day, with hourly sales updates in our staff room. As well as this we had our two ‘super sellers’ at the front of the store which really helped to generate interest around Rosie’s fragrance. 

Our beauty department took a week’s worth of sales in just one day and Rosie’s fragrance made up half of this. 

Saturday was the big day. The prospect of a Hollywood superstar visiting a fairly small Welsh store drove excitement levels to fever pitch. 

To add to the excitement our beauty manager Sarah Wright is a big fan of Rosie. There’s no doubt this gave us an edge in the competition.   

As for Rosie herself, she was a delight. She was really passionate about her new fragrance and it was really nice to hear about her journey in creating it with perfumer Ralf Schwieger.  She spent lots of time chatting to the team and congratulating them all on the hard work. She’s welcome back to Newport anytime. 

We’ll definitely be taking our winning mentality forward to Valentine’s Day as Rosie’s store visit has added a personal touch, something extra to talk to our customers about. 

The competition has been a fantastic incentive for the team here and I’m sure the buzz that Rosie’s visit has created will keep spirits high for some time.

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