Sephora has unveiled its new store concept, designed, the company says, to “teach, inspire and play,” in San Francisco.
That puts the “TIP” in the model’s moniker, Sephora Beauty TIP Workshop, which will be unveiled in other cities in various iterations through next year.
The San Francisco store features USB ports, iPads, and WiFi for tech-enabled beauty advice that customers can experience alone or with store associates helping out. The store will also provide some hair salon services, which Sephora Americas CEO Calvin McDonald told Women’s Wear Daily was “emerging for us as a nice fourth world” after beauty, fragrance, and skincare.
Beauty has emerged as a healthy but highly competitive retail space. As a result, shoppers may see more of these pushes to heighten the customer experience in order to capture traffic and loyalty.
Sephora was among the first retailers to disrupt the mid- and high-end beauty space that was long left to department stores by democratizing the experience — leaving customers to wander and try samples of even more expensive brands.
But its associates also tend to be attentive and knowledgable for those who want assistance. Now the retailer is leveraging technology to make those various experiences at least more flashy, and possibly more useful to shoppers.
"When a client comes in and experiences Teach, Inspire, Play, she's going to experience it on her own, she's going to experience it through cast members, and she's going to experience it through technology," McDonald told WWD. "And that's where we really see our differentiator being and how we're going to continue to innovate.”