Powerhouse Australian beauty retailer Mecca has announced it will be opening store in the historic Gowings building in Sydney’s CBD. Mecca says the three-level, 1200-square-metre store – which is slated to open in the second half of the year – will be the largest beauty retail outlet in the southern hemisphere.

The new Mecca will be considered the brand's flagship, and will be double the size of its next-biggest store, in Highpoint Shopping Centre, Melbourne. Not only will it stock cult brands such as Drunk Elephant, Nars, Tatcha and Diptyque, but 30 per cent of its space – a full level – will be devoted to beauty experiences, brand immersions, pop-ups, and brand and product launches.

There’ll be skin, hair and body treatment areas; private rooms; a lab for make-up artists; and fragrance, skin and make-up specialists to help shoppers navigate the store. Sydney design studio Meacham Nockles, which has a longstanding partnership with Mecca, has been appointed to the project as architect, and will be charged with maintaining the heritage features of the 1929 building. The space is currently occupied by British fashion chain Topshop and is neighboured by the QT hotel and State Theatre.

By the time the flagship opens, it will be the company's 115th store.

The new Mecca store will open in the second half of 2020.