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Beauty Beat: Sephora Forging Ahead in Italy … Nocibe to Buy Euro Sante Beaute

<STRONG>Sephora Forging Ahead in Italy</STRONG><BR><BR>MILAN — By opening perfumeries in both Milan and Florence, French perfumery chain Sephora is cementing its presence in Italy.<BR><BR>The openings by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis...

Sephora Forging Ahead in Italy

MILAN — By opening perfumeries in both Milan and Florence, French perfumery chain Sephora is cementing its presence in Italy.

The openings by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned Sephora mark the beginning of a year that will see the company cut the ribbon on many more Italian doors, said Roberto Forcherio, managing director for the Sephora division of LVMH Italia.

Another 12 to 14 perfumery openings are planned for Italy by yearend.

Forcherio said the chain also had plans to construct perfumeries in the south of Italy — an area overlooked by other perfumery chains.

The 180-square-meter Milan flagship, which opened last month, is located on a busy shopping street in central Milan. LVMH Italian executives refused to comment on first-year sales projections for the new store, but industry sources said that figure could reach 1.5 million euros, or $2 million at current exchange rates.

Though the Milan perfumery marks the 103rd Sephora store in Italy, executives said it was a monumental beginning for Sephora Italy’s agenda this year.

“People always questioned why Milan wasn’t the first, so there was a big buildup to this day,” said Laura Schiatti, marketing director for the Sephora division of LVMH Italia.

The store includes a nail bar, a skin test point that includes lymphatic-draining massage, a makeup express bar and a brow bar — a new concept for the Sephora chain.

“The concept is the same — it is the same Sephora magic that you can find in all the Sephora stores, but we are really proud of the brow bar,” said Schiatti. “I think it is the first of its kind in Italy.”

Other services also will be on offer in Milan’s first Sephora perfumery, including an iridologist available by appointment.

Schiatti said it was these sort of services that would set Sephora apart in Italy’s flooded perfumery market.

“Sephora is unique,” she said. “Today the perfumery industry in Italy is static, so what Sephora can propose is services that are special, that are more complete and services that you can’t find elsewhere.”

This story first appeared in the March 8, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Sephora has another edge over its Italian competitors in being able to attract a younger clientele, according to Schiatti.

“Here, ladies and teenagers feel at home. We have adapted the mix and the look of the store to accommodate all ages,” said Schiatti.

Brands lining the shelves in Milan’s Sephora store include American bath and body line Dessert by Jessica Simpson, Greek plant-based line Korres and the clinical antiaging cream Strivectin.

Sephora’s product mix is the secret to its success, according to Forcherio, who added the Milan store had immediate potential because its selection of brands are unavailable elsewhere in Italy. He noted the company was selling some 600 units of the Strivectin cream a week, with its price tag of 135 euros, or $178.80.

“We are losing sales through mass market lines, so we are adopting a strategy that is exclusively selective mass,” said Forcherio. “Being more selective is working for us.” — Stephanie Epiro

Nocibe to Buy Euro Sante Beauté

PARIS — Nocibe is to acquire 23-door parapharmacy chain Euro Sante Beauté, the French perfumery chain announced Monday.

“This acquisition will permit Nocibe to grow significantly within the French market and to integrate a new profession, parapharmacy, which is very complementary [to perfumery,] notably because of its product offer — health, dermocosmetics, well-being and diet products,” Nocibe said in a statement.

Euro Sante Beauté, previously owned by Luxembourg-based BOP SA, comprises 23 stores, 20 of which are located in Paris and its suburbs. It is hoped the parapharmacy chain’s presence in the French capital will reinforce Nocibe’s position there, the statement said.

With sales of 36 million euros, or $47.5 million at current exchange rates, Euro Sante Beauté is France’s second-largest parapharmacy chain, according to Nocibe.

Villeneuve d’Ascq, France-based Nocibe already runs 321 doors in France, of which 60 are franchised. The chain, which rang up sales of 419 million euros, or $553 million, in 2004, controls 15 percent of France’s perfumery market and is the country’s second-largest selective perfumery retailer door-wise, according to the company. Since 2002, Bridgepoint, a European investment fund, has been Nocibe’s majority shareholder.  — Brid Costello