jerryking + sephora   5

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 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
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
Looking to Grow, J.C. Penney Tries to Carve New Niches
NOVEMBER 11, 2010 | - WSJ.com | By RACHEL DODES .Looking to
Grow, Penney Tries to Carve New Niches. Since shedding its Eckerd
drugstore division in 2004, Penney has focused on sprucing up its
dept.stores by upgrading merchandise & improving customer svce.. The
company expects most of its growth to come from expanding such
initiatives as Sephora cosmetics boutiques inside its stores and
increasing distn. of its exclusive brands, such as MNG by Mango. But the
company is also betting on retailing ideas developed through its new
Growth Brands Division as a way to build on Penney's sourcing, branding
and logistics expertise. Under pressure to show it can grow,
mass-market J.C. Penney Co. is betting on niches. The retailer, whose
1,100 stores offer a wide range of moderately priced merchandise, is
gearing up for some specialty ventures, including an e-commerce site for
gift givers and a clothing chain for big and tall men,
growth  retailers  J.C._Penney  diversification  Sephora  hedge_funds  niches  store_within_a_store  cosmetics 
november 2010 by jerryking

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