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How Sephora Is Thriving Amid a Retail Crisis - The New York Times
By LAURA M. HOLSONMAY 11, 2017

Much has been written about the crisis in retail, with shoppers deserting department stores for e-tailers and fast fashion, if they shop at all. The beauty business, though, has not had the same fate. Prestige beauty sales in the United States rose 6 percent in the 12 months ending in February, tallying $15.9 billion, according to the market research company NPD Group. Makeup alone is up 11 percent, totaling $7.3 billion. But that industry, too, is in the midst of its own upheaval, driven in part by the success of stores such as Sephora, the No. 1 specialty beauty retailer in the world....Bloggers and YouTube stars, Instagram videos and virtual assistants are replacing department store sales clerks, whose customers now know as much as they do (or more) about mermaid eyes and ombré lips. Brand loyalty is out, replaced by Sephora’s try-more-buy-more ethos. Friends hold as much sway these days as trained experts....two out of five women between ages 18 and 54 wear five or more makeup products every day. “It defines the selfie-obsessed, image-driven culture of our time,” .... There are more voices. And we are trying to cut through the confusion,” in part by allowing customers to try before they buy.....“It is easy to kill time, play around with things and then spend more money than I should,” ...“I am experimenting a lot, trying to figure out what I like.” She doesn’t shop at department stores. “I don’t associate [Sephora] with makeup,”....In 2015, Sephora opened its Innovation Lab in a converted warehouse in San Francisco to experiment with ways to combine mobile apps and in-store shopping into a cohesive experience. As a result of their efforts, customers can have as little or as much personal contact they want in stores ...Now department stores are scrambling to follow suit.
Sephora  beauty  retailers  crisis  LVMH  Instagram  brands  millennials  social_media  digital_influencers  experimentation  time_sink  play  Macy’s  Bloomingdale’s  cosmetics  makeup  customer_experience  experiential_marketing  image-driven  self-absorbed  fast_fashion  in-store 
may 2017 by jerryking

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