PARIS — Christopher de Lapuente will become global president and chief executive officer of Sephora on March 31, succeeding Jacques Lévy, who has opted to retire, WWD has learned.
An announcement regarding de Lapuente — who is also expected to be named a member of LVMH’s executive committee — could come as early as this week, industry sources said.
A spokeswoman for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which owns the perfumery chain, could not be reached for comment.
De Lapuente worked at Procter & Gamble starting in 1983. From 2007 to 2010, he held the position of group president for global hair care. In 2004, de Lapuente was promoted to president of global hair care from the role of vice president, United Kingdom and Ireland.
Levy was named to his current position in late 2005, and for the two years prior to that held the title of president of Sephora Europe (a responsibility he took up again in 2009 and added to his role as Sephora global president and ceo). As president of Sephora Europe, Levy oversaw the perfumery chain’s operations in Asia, too. He joined LVMH from Staples International and formerly held various executive positions at Disney. Levy also worked at Darty and Galeries Lafayette/Nouvelles Galeries.
When Levy joined Sephora in 2003, it had about 400 European doors and 75 in the U.S. By Dec. 31, 2010, Sephora counted 673 stores in Europe, with 34 net new openings during the year, and 276 doors in North America. Worldwide, the perfumery chain by the end of last year had 1,070 stores, including 84 net openings. Locations were inaugurated in cities such as Milan and Madrid, and Sephora’s Paris flagship on the Champs-Elysées was reorganized as part of a store renovation program.
According to LVMH, which did not break out numbers in its financial documents, Sephora in 2010 posted like-for-like store growth across all regions and continued to gain market share. LVMH’s selective retailing business group, which includes Sephora, increased sales by 19 percent in 2010 year-on-year to 5.38 billion euros, or $7.14 billion at average exchange. At constant group structure and currency exchange, the increase was 14 percent.
At Sephora, revenues grew in the U.S. quarter-on-quarter throughout 2010. LVMH stated Sephora’s business in Canada was a “resounding success” and is confirming its “strong potential.”
Sephora introduced digital initiatives such as a cell phone application. The perfumery’s “good momentum” in online sales (in the U.S., France and China) continued in 2010, as did the pace of store openings. New flagships allowed Sephora to grow its presence in Europe — where it claims leadership status and the fastest growth in the market, plus pole position in France — and in Asia.
Sephora continued expanding in China, a country it entered in 2005 and in which it has about 100 doors. LVMH said the perfumery notched up “significant market share” in both Shanghai and Beijing, where the retailer has about 20 stores each.
The Sephora flagship in the Ion Orchard shopping center —which opened in late 2009 and at 13,330 square feet is the perfumery chain’s largest location in Southeast Asia — was “enormously successful,” according to LVMH.
Last July, Sephora entered Latin America via the acquisition of Sack’s in Brazil. LVMH purchased 70 percent of the Rio de Janeiro-based online retailer, which at the time offered more than 270 brands and boasted a customer portfolio of more than 830,000 clients, with 4 million unique visitors a month. Industry sources estimated Sack’s had annual retail sales of more than $50 million. The purchase price was estimated at more than $100 million.
In late October, Sephora inked a joint venture deal to enter Mexico, Latin America’s second-largest beauty market following Brazil. Sephora Americas teamed up with Grupo Axo with the aim of opening the first two stores in Mexico City late in 2011 and then opening more annually in the years to follow.
In the Middle East, Sephora had “an excellent year,” and ended 2010 with 20 locations, according to LVMH.
Under Levy, Sephora has signed innovative deals while pursuing its expansion. For instance, in 2006 in the U.S., the perfumery chain made an agreement with J.C. Penney to open branded Sephora shops within Penney’s stores.
Other recent highlights for the perfumery chain include a partnership between Sephora and The Body Shop in the U.S. Last month, The Body Shop said it had developed exclusive skin and body care items for Sephora, which were to roll out to 170 of the retailer’s 230 doors in the first week of March. The deal was designed to supply Sephora with a natural and eco-minded skin care brand while offering The Body Shop an expanded distribution outside of its own 300 U.S.-based doors.
Sephora, via its Sephora by OPI brand, launched a limited edition “Glee”-related nail color collection in stores in February. Slated for March was the opening of a 2,691-square-foot store inside Milan’s central train station. The store will join brands such as Armani Jeans in the recently renovated station, which is said to receive 320,000 visitors a day.
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)