recentpopularlog in

Copy this bookmark:





to read

bookmark detail

For Sephora, the store is core to its beauty
July 24 2019 | | Financial Times | by Harriet Agnew and Hannah Copeland in Paris.

**Sephora stores focus on experience, allowing consumers to test products digitally on a virtual mirror for instance or personalise products **

Like its stores in New York’s Times Square and Dubai Mall in the Middle East, Sephora in La Défense has recently reopened after an extensive refurbishment. The investment reflects how bricks and mortar and experiential retail are key to Sephora’s growth. The LVMH-owned group, which stocks about 300 brands alongside its own label, has increased sales fourfold in the past eight years, fuelled by a booming beauty market........“A lot of people are scared of the retail apocalypse so they’re not investing in stores, and that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said chief executive Chris de Lapuente in an interview on the shop floor. “We’re investing in our stores, taking our top 100 stores in the world and renovating them to the best possible standard.”....Mr de Lapuente says one attraction of Sephora is that consumers “discover brands they can’t find anywhere else”, noting that about a third of its offerings are exclusive to Sephora, and it acts as an incubator for upcoming or niche brands....Exclusivity might be with Huda, which began selling false eyelashes in Dubai and subsequently developed a collaboration with Sephora; pop star Rihanna’s cosmetics brand Fenty, which is on track for €500m sales this year; or an exclusive collaboration with Dior for the Dior Backstage range of make-up.

Pointing to the beauty bar where customers can get a free makeover, Mr de Lapuente added: “Experiential retail is crucial to our success. Sephora is a place where people come for advice, they come to listen. We teach, inspire and play . . . You’re not going to get this online. Online you can do your research . . . here you can come and experiment.”

Mr Fujimori agrees, saying Sephora “successfully combines experiential retail with a leading ecommerce presence, leveraging digital technology to enhance the shopping experience in-store and online”......
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. The challenge now for Sephora is to stay ahead in a world where there are more make-up and beauty brands than ever, and social media has lowered barriers to entry and boosted the speed to market. Meanwhile, Amazon last month announced the launch of its professional beauty stores, aimed at the mass market.

“Amazon is just another one of the many choices out there,” said Mr de Lapuente. “They have a strong e-commerce offering. They don’t have stores. We love that consumers love to shop online and in store.” He says that customers who buy both on- and offline tend to purchase three times more than those who buy using just one channel. Ecommerce represents an average of 20 per cent of sales in each country for Sephora, which uses influencers to build its community. “Amazon just forces us to raise our game.”....

The pressure is on to keep on innovating. “Beauty is so fast-moving, you can’t cruise,” said Mr de Lapuente. He says innovation will come both from new products (citing untapped potential in haircare and wellness), and from the way in which brands reach consumers. He sees opportunities in areas like voice-activated ordering through home assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa, and social commerce through platforms like China’s WeChat.

But despite such technological developments, for Mr de Lapuente, the store has a robust future.

At La Défense, customers are returning to work with Sephora’s distinctive striped bags modelled on the black and white stripes of Italy’s Siena Cathedral. “Is physical retail alive or dead?” mused Mr de Lapuente among the throng of shoppers. “It looks pretty alive to me. The store is where the magic happens.”
Amazon  beauty  brands  bricks-and-mortar  customer_experience  cosmetics  digital_influencers  e-commerce  experimentation  experiential_marketing  high-end  in-store  incubators  innovation  LVMH  makeup  millennials  omnichannel  refurbished  renovations  Sephora  women 
july 2019 by jerryking
view in context