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Sephora is teaming up with Make Up For Ever for a series of store-in-store concepts, with the first to open today at the retailer’s SoHo store.

This story first appeared in the October 1, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The in-store boutiques, which range from 600 to 750 square feet, are intended to resemble a backstage environment, including studio makeup stations and lighting and an entrance separate from the main store entry point. Each will stock more than 1,200 Make Up For Ever stockkeeping units, including professional-only and special effects products. At present, only Make Up For Ever’s Manhattan flagship offers these items. Most Sephora stores carry anywhere from 400 to 600 of Make Up For Ever sku’s.

“Three things influenced the decision to do these boutiques,” said David Suliteanu, president and chief executive officer of Sephora Americas. “First, Make Up For Ever is one of our largest brand partners and is an exclusive brand partner. Second, we both feel that Make Up For Ever’s consumer brand recognition isn’t where it could be. And finally, Make Up For Ever has an amazing history and expertise in makeup artistry.”

The separate entrances were key as well, said Suliteanu. “It’s really important for the consumer to realize that this is a Make Up For Ever space. Obviously, they can cross-shop and pay for things in either space, but the staff is clearly Make Up For Ever, and there is clear difference in environment.”

Interactive tools, which allow staffers and customers to create customized makeup designs, and face charts also are included, and the results can be e-mailed directly to clients. IPads for use in-store will provide access to Make Up For Ever how-to videos and link to Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Makeup lessons will be offered, and a long communal table in each space will allow for plenty of sampling, noted Sharon Rothstein, senior vice president of marketing for Sephora.

A second store will open at Sephora’s location at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas next Friday, followed by South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., on Oct. 15.

Nicolas Cordier, ceo of Make Up For Ever, said the list of openings shows the company’s “strengthened focus and strategic commitment to the U.S. [market]. Our brand has had a presence in the U.S. since the mid-Nineties, and we have experienced accelerated growth for the past five years, despite the economic crisis, thanks to the strategic support and commitment of Sephora.”

Next, Suliteanu is turning his sights to the Sephora store that will open in the Meatpacking District next summer.

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