Sephora opens first flagship store in Russia and returns to Germany
Sephora opened its first Russian store in the heart of the Aviapark shopping centre in Moscow. The brand’s debut was highly anticipated and, according to the store’s manager, 2,000 Muscovites attended the store opening on September 14. Shoppers flocked to the beauty retailer, whose opening will see key brands such as Huda Beauty, Kat Von D Beauty, and Marc Jacobs enter the Russian market for the first time.
Sephora, a brand of the LVMH Group, has grand ambitions for Russia and will open its second Moscow store on September 28, in the city’s Atrium shopping centre. The brand will open eight stores in cities including St Petersburg by the end of the year. As part of its Russia retail strategy, Sephora has also opened a dedicated Russian e-commerce store.
Although this is Sephora’s first flagship store in Russia, the brand knows the market and its taste for luxury well. In 2003, the brand entered Russia with a partnership with the Alkor Group, the owner of L’Étoile, one of the leading brands in Russia’s perfume industry and a major client of LVMH Group brand’s perfumes and cosmetics. This partnership was set until the end of 2010 and has not since been renewed. As part of the partnership, Alkor set up several Sephora retail outlets in some of its L’Étoile stores, as well as inside stores of the brand that have now been closed.
In 2008, Sephora opted for a new approach in Russia and acquired a 45 percent stake in the Russian perfume chain Ile de Beauté and a further 20 percent stake in the brand in 201, which saw it become a majority shareholder. According to the Russian press, Sephora has been the sole owner of the brand and its 126 stores since the end of 2016. The stores constitute a network that Sephora could use for its own brand stores.
In Germany, Sephora is continuing to expand and recently opened a store in Frankfurt in the centre of the Main Taunus Zentrum (MTZ) shopping centre. This is Sephora’s first flagship store in Germany, since the brand retired from the country in 2001, most likely due to competition from the Douglas Group.
In order to re-enter the German market, Sephora initially took a tentative approach and partnered with the German department store chain Galeria Kaufhof. The partnership saw Sephora open shop-in-shops and opened the first of these in June 2017.
Sephora, which has close to 3,000 stores worldwide, will also open in South Korea, a country with a strong beauty industry, in the third quarter of 2019.
Although the LVMH Group does not publish figures concerning Sephora’s turnover, it has stated that the group's selective distribution division, which includes Sephora, Le Bon Marché, and DFS, is experiencing growth.
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