On Tuesday, the beauty retailer unveiled its aim to open 100 new store locations across North America in 2020 — more than double the store openings the prior year.
The stores will be across 75 different cities, and centered around local neighborhoods and community centers. The goal is to put stores “Where clients live and work…with the primary focus being on ease and convenience,” Sephora said in a statement.
“In looking at where and how today’s beauty lover is shopping, there’s no doubt that there’s a trend toward more local shopping destinations,” said Jeff Gaul, senior vice president of real estate and store development for Sephora. “This year, clients can expect to see more Sephora stores not only in malls and high-traffic shopping centers, but also closer to home. These locations are meant to complement our existing fleet and give clients a more personalized and customized experience.”
The store locations underscore a deviation in the company’s real estate strategy, which has relied significantly on mall space, including Sephora inside J.C. Penney locations. The new locations will be in street and local centers, as well as established shopping centers, the company said. In the U.S. market, Sephora has faced increasing competition from Ulta Beauty, which has locations primarily in strip malls and shopping centers.
The volume of store openings makes it the biggest year in Sephora’s history, in terms of retail expansion. It’s also the boldest move the chain has made since coming under the leadership of Sephora Americas president and chief executive officer Jean-André Rougeot, who joined the business a year ago from Benefit.
“Our focus continues to be on anticipating the beauty needs and desires of our diverse clients across North America,” Rougeot said in a statement. “As we look at ways to continue to be more inclusive and accessible, brick-and-mortar continues to be a huge opportunity for us to deepen emotional connections with our clients and local communities. It’s through our interactive store environment, our best-in-class educational tools and services and incredible engagements with our beauty advisers that we are able to best service and inspire clients on their beauty journey.”
New stores are coming to Charlotte, N.C., Nashville, Tenn., San Jose, Calif., and many other cities. The planned design is “sleek architectural” and the goal is for the stores to be shopper-centric. New stores will also be powered by renewable energy, the retailer said.
Some doors will feature Sephora’s smaller, 4,000-square-foot format, and will feature hair care and skin care more prominently toward the entrance, plus skin and beauty services.
In other big Sephora news that dropped Tuesday, the beauty retailer landed the exclusive for Selena Gomez’s new beauty brand, Rare Beauty, which will launch in North America this summer.
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