Sephora Marks 25 Years of Success in the United States

Sephora Marks 25 Years of Success in the United States

July 10, 2023 : French beauty retailer Sephora, known for its extensive range of color cosmetics, skincare, fragrances, and more, was established in 1969. With approximately 340 brands available, including Sephora Collection’s label, the company offers popular brands consumers favor.

Founded in Limoges, France, Sephora has its headquarters in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. The brand started its global expansion after opening its first store in Paris in 1970. In 1998, the company entered the U.S. market with its inaugural store located in New York City at 555 Broadway. Initially led by founder Dominique Mandonnauud, Sephora was later acquired by LVMH in 1997, just a year before the New York store’s opening. Sephora operates in 35 countries worldwide, boasting over 2,700 stores, all of which maintain a consistent standard of high-quality service alongside their product offerings.

The name “Sephora” derives from the Greek word for beauty, “sephos,” and the Greek spelling of Zipporah, the wife of Moses.

Sephora’s management has diligently executed a well-planned growth strategy over the past 25 years since its introduction in the United States. Key milestones in Sephora’s U.S. journey include:

  • The opening of the first store in 1998.
  • The launch of in October 1999.
  • The publication of the first catalog was in 2000.

By 2005, the company had established 100 stores, followed by opening its first store in JCPenney in 2006. Before the partnership’s dissolution, 667 Sephora departments were in JCPenney stores. The 300th U.S. store was inaugurated in Las Vegas in 2011.

Sephora continuously expands its assortment by introducing new brands. Recent additions include Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Armani Beauty, Kayali fragrances, and Floral Street. Additionally, a new partnership with Zappas is set to debut in early summer.

In 2020, Sephora and Kohl’s announced a long-term partnership, with plans to establish 850 Sephora departments within Kohl’s by the end of 2023. Further units have been announced for the following three years, with some units being smaller than the 2,500 square-foot stores to be completed by the year’s end. This collaboration benefits both parties, as Sephora gains increased customer penetration in suburban areas while Kohl’s attracts a youthful shopper demographic, leveraging Sephora’s strong following among the younger audience.

As a trailblazer in the industry, Sephora became the first major retailer to commit to the 15% pledge in 2020. This pledge entails having 15% of the brand assortment consist of black-owned brands. Since Sephora carried 340 brands at the time of the commitment, it represents a significant dedication. Notable black-owned brands featured by Sephora include Fenty Fragrances, EADEM, and many others.