LVMH-owned retailer Sephora opened its much-awaited store in the UK today. The 6,000ft2 (557m2) store is located at Westfield White City in West London, which the company claims is the largest retail destination in Europe.
The store stocks 135 brands, including exclusive-to-Sephora UK brands, such as Makeup by Mario, Gxve by Gwen Stefani, One/Size by Patrick Starrr, Vegamour, Skinfix, Commodity and Sephora Collection. The shop will also debut brands in physical retail for the first time in the UK, including Tarte, Glow Recipe, Supergoop!, Danessa Myricks and Kosas.
The store includes Sephora’s signature elements, in addition to new features for the retailer. The interior has soft geometric shapes, ambient lighting, textured finishes and greenery.
The center of the store hosts a mixture of both in-person and digital services. A Grand Beauty Hub offers customers experiences and products across make-up, skincare, haircare, fragrance, body and gifting. Make-up services will be provided by a Sephora University trained in-house team, while express skin treatments will be on offer from skincare brands including Dermalogica, Glow Recipe, Elemis, Sisley & Seasonly.
Meanwhile, Sephora’s Minis & More and Fragrance to Go sections will aim to foster product discovery and be next to a self-checkout area.
Other features at the store include Sephora’s first Lip Bar, offering an array of colors and finishes; Hot on Social corner, consisting of a curation of the 10 most-talked about products on social media and a Benefit Brow Bar.
Services as the store will include personalized gifting and gift wrapping and fragrance engraving.
Last night, the store hosted a VIP launch event, which welcomed beauty founders and brand founders. There was also a performance by British girl group the Sugababes.
The retailer has organized a program of activities for the store’s opening week, including a free limited-edition gift bag for the first 300 customers who visit the store and a masterclass by make-up founder Natasha Denona.
This new outlet is Sephora’s first store in the UK since exiting the market in 2005. As reported, Sephora officially launched in the UK in October 2022, following its acquisition of British e-commerce player Feelunique in 2021.
The acquisition of Feelunique was seen as furnishing Sephora with a major foothold in the UK – a market that has been difficult to crack for the LVMH-owned retailer. In 2000, Sephora opened a store in the UK followed by five others, only to pull out of the market in 2005, due to high rents and strong competition from health and beauty retailer Boots, according to market watchers.