Byline: Alev Aktar

NEW YORK — Every beauty executive in New York has been talking about the opening of the first Sephora store in the U.S. on July 15, and most have been wondering how similar it will be to the chain’s superstore on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Sephora is France’s largest-volume perfumery chain, and its 14,000-square-foot superstore features what is widely considered the country’s most advanced cosmetics merchandising.
The format is assisted self-service with bright and playful merchandising.
Steve Bock, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing for Sephora, provided some insight into that question during a meeting this week of The Fashion Group International at the Sheraton New York. Bock was one of the three event speakers at the luncheon.
According to Bock, the SoHo shop will have many — but not all — of the innovative fixtures at the megastore.
Like the Paris store, it will have a perfume organ staffed by a perfumer equipped with blotters. There, shoppers can smell different olfactory notes, accords and finished compositions.
Then there will be the lipstick library with Sephora’s vast private label line of 352 lipsticks, and the skin care library carrying products organized according to category. Treatment will also be merchandised according to brand.
However, there will be no exhibit space and no bookstore area carrying magazines and beauty-related books, as at the megastore in Paris.
One asset that the SoHo store has for its opening is Pia Getty. The blond bombshell, who is the daughter of DFS shareholder Robert Miller and is married to Christopher Getty, is the perfumery chain’s creative ambassador.
“She’s a spokeswoman for us, and she epitomizes who we believe we should be talking to,” said Bock. “She’s an international person, a young mother with children. She shops at Sephora in Paris, and there’s great interest in which products she likes.”
Getty will be present at all the Sephora openings, said Bock, adding that she will be giving interviews to magazines and TV networks.
“She’s always been part of DFS through her dad,” said Bock. “This is a natural extension.”

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