Makeup retailer has established quite a footprint, as there’s now 400 of these sprawling storefronts across the US.While Sephora seems to be thriving in the current environment, the company is showing that it’s not afraid to try new things in a bid to stay ahead of the curve. As Fast Company shares, the retailer is set to debut Sephora Studio, which will be a smaller store concept in an intimate boutique setting.
The first of these stores is set to open up in downtown Boston. Calvin McDonald, CEO of Sephora Americas, offered up his thoughts on why this was the perfect spot to launch the new concept.
“We picked Newbury Street because it is a classic neighborhood shopping street,” he said. “There are streets in cities all over the country that are just like this, where people like to take a stroll on the weekend to pop into little boutiques.”
He notes that while this is an experimental store, it’s in response to what he sees as a shifting landscape. Smaller concept stores can seriously move the needle for large retailers when executed correctly, as they can quickly fit right into a bustling neighborhood.
“Many, of course, prefer to shop online. Others want to go to a store, but they don’t have time to go to a big shopping center,” McDonald added. “They want to pop by somewhere closer to home, but many of these shopping streets offer much smaller storefronts than malls.”
Debuting a whole new concept is enough of a herculean task, but Sephora is taking advantage of the opportunity to debut some new technologies as well. Instead of cash registers, store associates will be able to process payments on their phones, while beauty advisers will have cameras at the ready to take snaps of customers to add to their online portfolios.
“The goal of the Studio is to foster personal connections between our clients and our beauty advisers,” notes Mary Beth Laughton, Sephora’s SVP of digital. “But we’re using technology to ease that relationship building. We’re not interested in using technology for technology’s sake.”
Sephora is obviously quite optimistic about the new concept, and McDonald notes that more will pop up before you know it if the test run proves successful.
“Eventually, we could see as many as 80 of these sprinkled around the country,” he added.
This is a fantastic example of a successful retailer not resting on their laurels in the ever-changing retail landscape, and that positions Sephora for further success down the road.