The partnership entails a digital-first launch of 11 products, including top sellers like the All Bright Vitamin C Serum and Overnight Resurfacing Peel, starting on July 7, and in-store availability in all Sephora doors starting in August. The pop-up will last through the end of October.
The pop-up is a first of its kind for Sephora, but not for Beautycounter, which partnered with Target on a capsule collection in 2016. “Given that we are not a wholesale business, we are direct-to-consumer, we decided on a pop-up. It’s the opportunity to reach new audiences, to reach new people,” Gregg Renfrew, Beautycounter’s founder and chief executive officer, said. “We are positioned now as a brand to be able to showcase products at retail. We’ve recently gone through a major renovation to make packaging more sustainable and to have shelf appeal. From an operational standpoint, we felt ready.”
For Sephora, the deal was a no-brainer, especially as Sephora’s client base shows an ascending interest in clean beauty, said Artemis Patrick, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Sephora. “They’re leaders in the space. Not just as it pertains to the product itself, but also how they work with legislation and health protective laws,” Patrick said. For example, Renfrew, recently testified in a congressional hearing on cosmetic reform.
“We felt the movement for clean has been growing, and clean is no longer a trend or a fad, it’s now, and it’s the future,” Renfrew said.
As for why a pop-up as opposed to a more permanent distribution deal, Renfrew said Beautycounter’s business model was served in the long-term best by its vast network of consultants. “We have always built our business as a direct-to-consumer brand. We believe in the power of our consultants to build clients, and we see the highest growth direct-to-consumer. For us, limited-time partnerships seem to really feel most suitable for our business model in support of our community,” Renfrew said.
Sephora’s touted Clean at Sephora program was another catalyst in the partnership. “Sephora as a retailer has been leading in clean from a retailer standpoint over the past two years,” Renfrew said.
Among the clean offerings Beautycounter is launching at Sephora are its Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer SPF20, $45; Counter+ All Bright C Serum, $79; Counter+ Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm, $72; Counter+ No. 1 Brightening Facial Oil, $69; Counter+ Overnight Resurfacing Peel, $63; Countercontrol Clear Pore Cleanser, $26; Countercontrol Matte Effect Gel Cream, $39; Countertime Tripeptide Radiance Serum, $79; Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream, $89; Countermatch Refresh Foaming Cleanser, $32; and Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion, $49.
As for launching a brand partnership during a pandemic, Patrick seemed optimistic, bolstered by promising sales numbers from Sephora’s e-commerce platform and gradual store reopenings nationwide. “We are confident that our clients will shop our new offerings both online and in-store,” she said. “We’ve really seen the sales pick up.”
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