It’s about time really that beauty counters took a whole new approach to how they sell their products: the days of the SA swoop should be well and truly over. As counters get cleverer, with interactivity and a more personal approach should you want one, ways of informing about products are becoming ever more inventive. The new Origins counter at Selfridges (opening on 7th June 2010) is a prime example of how diverse buying beauty products is really starting to be. The counter, Nature’s Laboratory, sees the introduction of the Exclusive Service Menu; 10 minute express treatments to include the 10 minute Eye Energiser, 10 minute Power Booster Mini Facial and the 10 minute Eye Energiser for Men, each with products chosen for your specific issues (i.e. oiliness, dryness etc).

There is also a touch screen Digital Information Centre, where customers can get instant information from Origins experts and book in an appointment.

Maybe the best innovation is The Sampling Bar – London will have the first ever Origins sampling bar in Europe. At the bar, you can take home a trio of samples chosen by SAs directed at your skin’s needs.

Ok, so all of this is, as you can see, just a more sophisticated way to sell – you can put as many bells on it as you like, but other than the touch screen info, it all requires interaction with SAs so I’m really hoping that high pressure doesn’t even come into their vocabulary.

While all the indicators make it sound like an exciting concept counter to visit, the entire thing will be spoiled if it is impossible to interact without feeling you have to leave with your wallet lighter. The sampling bar implies confidence and a forward thinking attitude that you’ll be back once you’ve finished your mini-version of skincare to purchase the full size, so we’ll see whether on-the-spot sales are as much of an issue as they are at other counters.

If you do visit, please do add in comments about your experience.

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.