Sephora UK's first store will be at Westfield London
Hot on the heels of last year’s UK re-entry for Sephora online, it has now revealed the location for its previously-promised first British physical store.
The LVMH-owned beauty giant will open this March in Westfield London, one of the Europe’s largest shopping and leisure destinations.
Katie Wyle, General Manager at Westfield London, said that Sephora “is one of the most requested stores by Westfield London customers”.
The brand will debut there with a 6,000+ sq ft store, offering a wide range of products and personal services in what it said would be “a dazzling space that will feature inspiring innovations drawn from the global retailer’s unique network”.
Although it's technically the first store for the company in Britain, looked at historically it isn't, as it previously entered UK physical retail before exiting in 2005. It had originally opened a store at the Bluewater mall in Kent, which was Europe's largest shopping mall.
Sephora came back to the UK via its purchase of the Feelunique beauty webstore that it rebranded and relaunched as Sephora in 2022.
So what should we expect from the new store? The company said it has been designed to “surprise and delight customers, combined with instantly recognisable elements that are much loved by Sephora’s global community”.
The façade will be wrapped in its distinctive black and white stripes, while the interior will be a global first of its kind for the retailer. It “will offer soft geometric shapes, ambient lighting, textured finishes, and succulent greenery to create a warm and inviting atmosphere”.
We’re told that “the heart of the store will be defined by an attentive combination of human touch and technology, where a monumental Grand Beauty Hub will provide memorable experiences for customers as they explore make-up, skincare, haircare, fragrance, body and personalised gifting”.
Carrying more than 135 brands “with unparalleled curation”, it will include a line-up of labels exclusive to the retailer in Britain. On that list will be Makeup by Mario, GXVE by Gwen Stefani, ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr, Vegamour, Skinfix, Commodity, and its own Sephora Collection.
There will also be a physical retail debut for brands such as Tarte, Glow Recipe, Supergoop!, Danessa Myricks and Kosas.
Alongside them will be an “expansive assortment” taking in Fenty Beauty, Drunk Elephant, ILIA, MILK Makeup, JVN, Gisou, Dior, Tom Ford and Jo Malone, among others.
Extra features in the store will include its ‘Minis & More’ and ‘fragrance to go’, with all the product in store easily accessible through self-checkout and benefiting from the Omni Channel Sephora-Rewards programme.
Sarah Boyd, MD of Sephora UK, said the website and app launch last year had been “very successful” and “we have been inundated with questions about our plans to open stores. As the creator of multi-category, multi-experience prestige beauty retailing, we are thrilled to bring London a store that aspires to meet the needs of every beauty occasion.”
The store will open at a time when beauty retail is booming in the UK, although that very fact means it's also a hugely competitive market.
As well as a raft of online retailers, physical beauty retail is a key growth area. Harrods has been rolling out its H Beauty chain and Next has also opened specialist beauty/homewares stores. M&S has also been upping its third-party premium brand beauty offer and specialists such as Space NK have been opening larger stores.
There are plenty of big names in beauty already operating at Westfield London, including Boots and department store John Lewis, as well as specialists such as Rituals, MAC, Kiehl’s, Charlotte Tilbury and more.
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