Sainsbury’s will expand its beauty category by offering consumers a department store style offer, complete with beauty aisles staffed with specialist assistants.

The grocer will trial the new proposition in 11 stores across the country and will roll it out further next year if it proves a success, reports The Guardian.

Sainsbury’s push into the booming marketplace, worth £2.8bn in the UK, is a challenge to high street health and beauty specialists such as Boots and Superdrug, which sell the same value to mid-level ranges, but department store chains, which mainly sell premium beauty, should be fairly immune.

The grocer said it would double the size of its beauty offer to up to 3,000 products from new partners including Essie, Tweezerman and Dr PawPaw, and existing brands including L’Oréal, Maybelline and Burt’s Bees.

Sainsbury’s is also relaunching its value, vegan-friendly Boutique range in a bid to appeal to millennial and Gen Z shoppers.

Perfume retailer The Fragrance Shop will test shop-in-shops in two stores, Croydon and Selly Oak, Birmingham.

Sainsbury’s has been diversifying into more categories since it acquired Argos and Habitat two years ago, putting the chains into hundreds of larger Sainsbury’s stores in a bid to attract consumers – who have shifted towards buying food one day at a time in convenience stores or doing a weekly shop online – to large stores.

Sainsbury’s commercial director Paul Mills-Hicks said: “We’ve transformed the look and feel of our beauty aisles to enhance the environment for our customers. We’ve also invested in specially trained colleagues who will be on hand to offer advice.

“Our range of brands is designed to suit every need and the alluring environment and convenient locations mean we’re now a compelling beauty destination which challenges the old way of shopping.