AS Watson’s niche retailer The Perfume Shop plans to open a new-format store in the autumn.

Jo Walker, who was promoted from retail director to chief operating officer this week, said it wants to create a format that would look “nothing like” existing stores.

In September, it will test the blueprint in a refurbished flagship at a major UK shopping centre and a new-build store to gauge how the new design performs in two different store types. If the trial is a success, the store design could be rolled out to the retailer’s 150 UK stores.

The Perfume Shop is in talks with two London consultancies, as well as Birmingham-based Green Room Retail, about the design, although it has not yet decided which agency will carry out the work.

Walker’s promotion follows the appointment of Jeremy Seigal, former managing director of The Perfume Shop, as chief executive of AS Watson UK (RW Online, March 7), with responsibility for Superdrug, The Perfume Shop and Savers.

Seigal has replaced Euan Sutherland, who is leaving to head DIY group Kingfisher’s UK arm.