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Sephora ups its game in US JC Penney

By Michelle Yeomans+

30-Jun-2014
Last updated on 30-Jun-2014 at 15:35 GMT

Sephora ups its game in US JC Penney

Sephora continues its worldwide expansion with the opening of 13 outlets at JC Penney stores across the US this month.

According to the beauty retail giant, the move to further expand the brand is thanks to its strong performance of late. 

The new locations include Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 

Although Sephora has been opening up outlets in JC Penney since 2006, the brand has run into challenges regarding the forging of an identity and attracting customer in the same way it does in Europe.

Since that initial partnership, and counting Sephora's latest additions, 489 brand dedicated areas will be present in about 1,100 JC stores.

Store within a store works for Sephora

All of the new stores will occupy 2,200 square feet in the center of J.C. Penney's, housing about 50 brands.

Penney’s store-within-a-store concept became more well-known during the tenure of ousted CEO Ron Johnson. Then the strategy was considered a failure in that it was meant to modernize the struggling retailer and attract more customers.

But after Penney lost $985 million under Johnson, returning CEO Mike Ullman did away with the concept. However, Sephora, which was brought into the stores before Johnson was hired, remained.

Expand, expand, expand

During its upcoming expansion into Australia, Sephora announced it would be focusing on young and male consumers.

"We typically get four times more young customers compared with department stores and four times more men than department stores," says Ravi Thakran, the Asia and Middle East president for Sephora’s parent company LVMH.

The retailer is expected to launch in Australia at the end of this year, looking to open its first local store in December.

Sephora’s upcoming expansion in the country participates in the ongoing diversification of the region’s cosmetics market, and will mean domestic players will need to continue to up their game with innovation.

The beauty retail giant is reported to have declined offers by the country’s major department stores to open as outlets within their retail units, opting instead to launch stand-alone stores.

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