Harrods is set to open its first standalone beauty store at the Lakeside shopping centre in Essex, as it looks to take advantage of the downturn in the fortunes of department stores.

The luxury department store has created a new venture, called H Beauty, which will be taking a 23,000 sq ft store in Intu Lakeside, according to The Times.

Harrods currently has a 9.3% share of the UK beauty market, and its London store has the biggest beauty hall in the world.

However, managing director of Harrods, Michael Ward, said the Lakeside venture would help it take advantage of the issues currently facing the likes of Debenhams, House of Fraser and even John Lewis.

“The recent struggles of the three major department stores in the UK have created an opportunity for us. The beauty market continues to grow and we are the biggest seller of beauty in the UK from just one door, so why wouldn’t we focus on that area?”

Ward said there were also plans to open a second H Beauty store in Milton Keynes.

The fascia is designed to be “youthful and playful” to appeal to millennial shoppers, and the store will serve cocktails as well as offering facials.

Harrods’ pre-tax profits fell 3% to £171.6m in the year to February, when sales edged up from £862.8m to £868.5m.

Over the year Harrods spent £64.1m – 17% more than in the previous year – on enhancing its flagship store. Improvements included an overhauled beauty hall and refurbishing the food halls.