Jun 22, 2021
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Zalando and Sephora link for European prestige beauty partnership

Jun 22, 2021

LVMH is continuing to link with partners that will help to accelerate its growth post-pandemic, and after last week’s LVMH-Google Cloud deal comes news that the luxury giant’s Sephora beauty chain has forged a long-term strategic partnership with Zalando.


The French beauty giant and German fashion-to-beauty e-tailer will focus on prestige beauty with Sephora to “bring its carefully curated assortment of several thousand exciting beauty products from more than 300 prestige and exclusive brands to Zalando, elevating the beauty proposition for millions of customers”.

Described as a “breakthrough cooperation” deal, the companies said it “brings together beauty and fashion to meet customers’ lifestyle shopping expectations”.

Fashion e-tail businesses have been diving deeper and deeper into beauty in recent years with Zalando among them. Sector peers ASOS and Boohoo have also been ramping up their cosmetics, skincare and fragrance offerings and in many cases, it’s the high-spending prestige beauty customer who’s the key target, as is the case here.

The partnership will start with a launch in Germany during Q4 and it will be extended to other European countries next year.

Sephora is currently the world’s leading omnichannel prestige beauty retailer and Zalando’s huge size and presence in Europe qualifies this as one of the biggest moves in beauty online retail for some time. 

Joining the Zalando Partner Program, Sephora will be the “strategic partner” to Zalando for its prestige beauty offering in all European countries where the partnership is active.

The two firms said they want to “reinvent” how Zalando’s customers shop for beauty online by combining its “unparalleled customer experience and deep e-commerce expertise with Sephora’s carefully curated assortment, beauty expertise and marketing power in prestige beauty”.

Sephora currently operates in 35 countries and has 2,000 stores globally, including more than 1,000 in Europe, so has high brand awareness in the European market.

Zalando pointed to several compelling reasons for joining up with Sephora with the LVMH property being “the beauty industry’s most renowned global innovator, with its cutting-edge curation of brands, including emerging categories like ‘Good for', and a vast community of beauty fans who love its editorialised offer”. 

Zalando itself has 42 million active customers in 20 markets across Europe, and a slick operation offering convenience in delivery, payments and returns. 

It sounds like a dream combination and Zalando’s co-CEO David Schneider called beauty “a huge and exciting opportunity for us, with the online beauty market still largely untapped in Europe. As a one-stop destination for fashion and lifestyle, we want to empower and inspire Zalando customers to find the perfect choice of fashion and beauty in one place and at the same time give our brand partners a platform for their digital success. Our partnership with Sephora, the go-to place for many beauty fans, will elevate the beauty offering for our customers and allow them to shop the most sought-after and exclusive beauty brands while enjoying Zalando’s excellent customer experience and convenience.” 

Sephora’s president and CEO Martin Brok added: “Fifty years after opening its first store, Sephora once again disrupts prestige beauty. This partnership illustrates our ambition to relentlessly innovate to delight our customers better than anyone else. Zalando, which today is the most successful online fashion platform in Europe, is the ideal partner for us to continue to inspire customers. By bringing together fashion, accessories, and prestige beauty under one roof, we will offer them the best destination to ‘look great and feel great’, in a unique premium environment. This partnership is a key step in our European growth strategy and illustrates our vision for the future of Beauty and Retail.”

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