MEXICO CITY — French perfumery giant Sephora is upping the ante in Latin America with plans to roll out at least 50 stores by 2016, according to Paula Larroque, general manager and senior vice president of Latin America for Sephora Americas.

This story first appeared in the December 7, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Sephora recently opened its sixth, 4,306-square-foot Mexican store in Mexico City’s Santa Fe luxury shopping center on Nov. 16. Larroque told WWD exclusively that Sephora hopes to roll out five stores in Mexico next year. At the same time, it will install another six outlets in Brazil. Emboldened by what Larroque described as a “fantastic consumer response” in Mexico, Sephora opened shops in Puebla and Guadalajara in 2012 and added stores in Mexico City’s Satelite and Antara malls. Sephora’s first Mexican store opened in the Interlomas shopping center last October.

Since then, sales have “far exceeded our initial expectations,” Larroque said, adding that 30 exclusive brands were launched in Mexico this year. “We are very happy with our performance so far which is why we are going to double our distribution next year,” she said.

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Sephora will also continue growing in Brazil, Latin America’s largest beauty market. In the next three months, the LVMH-owned chain will open three new stores in Brazil. The first 4,951-square-foot shop was inaugurated on Nov. 23 in Sao Paulo’s Morumbi shopping center. Sephora is opening 4,306-square-foot and 3,767-square-foot stores in Rio’s Rio Sul and Shopping Village Mall, Larroque added. Sephora opened its first, 3,800-square foot Brazilian store in São Paulo’s JK Iguatemi mall on July 13.

The expansion blitz will boost Sephora’s regional store count to 10.

Next year, Sephora’s expansion will continue with plans to open a second store in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city, and a shop in the Cancun beach resort. That will be followed by another opening in an undisclosed Mexico City location and the chain’s arrival in Querétaro, a quaint and fast-growing city two hours north of Mexico City.

In Brazil, the chain will open three more stores in São Paulo, and shops in Curitiba and Niteroi, Larroque added.

In total, Sephora hopes to add five stores in Mexico and six stores in Brazil in 2013 to operate 21 stores in Latin America by 2014.

The story doesn’t end there. Larroque said Sephora is scouting locations to enter other Latin American countries and that it may enter the region’s other large markets in 2014.

“In 2014 we will start looking at the other big markets after Mexico and Brazil and this could include Argentina, Colombia and Chile,” she added.

If the chain’s expansion succeeds in those markets, Larroque predicted Sephora could easily operate over 50 stores in Latin America.

“We think every main city in Latin America can definitely have a Sephora,” she concluded.


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