Sephora and the State of Beauty Retail

This #BoFLIVE event was based on the ‘Sephora’s Bid to Dominate Global Beauty Retail’ case study. Click here to read our full analysis.

With 2,000 stores in 35 countries and estimated annual sales of $10 billion, Sephora is one of the largest multi-brand retailers in the world. Even with that success, the luxury beauty behemoth still faces massive hurdles in the years ahead, including a slowdown in the makeup category, entry of fresh competitors, pandemic-prompted shifts in consumer behaviour and impediments to expansion in the crucial Chinese market. Sephora’s online strategy in the country has been characterised by missteps, and as the options for Chinese consumers grow, enthusiasm for the western retailer wanes.

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In the wake of her comprehensive case study “Sephora’s Bid to Dominate Global Beauty Retail,” BoF senior correspondent Chantal Fernandez sat down with BoF chief correspondent Lauren Sherman, beauty investor Ransley Carpio and brand strategist Allie Rooke to talk about beauty’s current landscape and unpack Sephora’s strategy and the future of the LVMH-owned disruptor.

“They’ve got to make the stores more exciting.” said Rooke “Chinese consumers are impatient, they love having fun and hanging out with their friends in stores, and Sephora’s stores are just not that environment. If they want to get the best brands into the market, into their stores, they really need to work on that piece.”

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