The LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned perfumery chain this week announced it will enter eight markets and open 170 stores in 2008. It also said it will revamp its store design, which is famed for its sleek black, red and white interiors, in an effort to remain fresh and modern.
The moves follow a strong 2007 for the chain, which counts 1,000 stores and corners in 23 countries, when sales grew in double digits. (Sephora does not break out sales figures.) Renato Semerari, chief executive officer of Sephora Europe, said he hopes to repeat that performance this year.
"Our biggest challenge for 2008 is to continue on the same path at the same pace, especially in an economic context that is quite worrying," he said. "The challenge remains to continue growing on a comparable-store basis, to keep the expansion plan we have and to successfully enter new markets."
Openings are in the pipeline for Kuwait in May and first doors are planned for Bulgaria, Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand by yearend.
Sephora will double its store count in China to between 60 and 70 boutiques this year, while in Russia, plans include up to 13 openings plus 111 new corners in partnership with the Etoile group. Elsewhere in Europe, around 60 openings are planned by yearend. In Canada and the Middle East, four and 13 more stores are planned, respectively. In the U.S., where same-store growth increased by double digits for the seventh year in 2007, Sephora plans to open 36 stores this year. The retailer now boasts 70 J.C. Penney Co. Inc. corners.
While Semerari was mum on speculation that Sephora will replicate its J.C. Penney deal in the U.K. with the Marks & Spencer chain, he did say a similar deal with Dutch chain Vroom & Dreesmann will be instrumental in determining if the concept of opening shops-in-shops within department stores has legs in Europe.
"It is really important for us to succeed in the Netherlands," said Semerari. "Then we'll have a strong indication of whether opening in department stores is a viable method of expansion for us."As well as firing up international expansion plans, Sephora has instigated a makeover of existing doors, turning to French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte to freshen up Sephora's store design.
Features of the tweaked in-store look include color-coded backlit boxes to more clearly indicate product category zones and column-like wall units designed to highlight particular items and promotions.
"Sephora has always stood out because of the beauty of its stores compared to our competition, especially in Europe," said Semerari. "We are committed to maintaining this."
The concept will bow in May in Sephora's Champs-Elysées flagship and in a new boutique at Paris' Gare de L'Est train station. Other doors in Europe will get the look this summer.
Outside of its own stores and corners, the retailer is also trying out the French shopping network M6 Boutique, where it began selling its private label lines, plus select exclusive brands, late last year. Sephora's own brand business grew by 44 percent in 2007, according to the firm, which introduces some 300 products to the lineup every year. The Sephora brand now boasts 1,400 units.
In other Sephora news, Natacha Dzikowski, formerly global brand image director of Sephora France, has been named advertising director of the LVMH-owned Christian Dior fashion house, effective since Tuesday. Anne-Veronique Bruel, who was previously general manager of Sephora's business in the Iberian Peninsula, has replaced Dzikowski at Sephora in the redefined role of strategic marketing manager.
“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)