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Sephora to open 35 US stores in 2019

By Cara Salpini

Source: Retail Dive

  • Specialty beauty retailer Sephora plans to open 35 new stores in the U.S. in 2019, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive. The slew of openings will start with a new New York location opening at the Hudson Yards development on Thursday.

  • The 35 new locations will be in 32 different cities, including Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle and Charlotte, North Carolina, among others. A large number will be in California — nine, according to the list of store locations in the release.

  • The company also announced a change to Sephora's Beauty Advisor uniforms, which will debut at Hudson Yards, as well as plans to partner with OrangeTwist in three of its upcoming California locations. OrangeTwist provides body, face and skin treatments.

Sephora already has a large footprint in the U.S. — the specialty retailer has more than 460 stores in the Americas, as well as 660 locations inside J.C. Penney's. This most recent expansion, however, proves not only the enduring strength of the beauty space, but also of the touch-and-feel atmosphere that Sephora has become known for.

Notably, the expansion was announced in tandem with a treatment services partnership, leaving little doubt that the retailer's focus remains on providing customers with upscale experiences in addition to high-end products. The trend toward services has touched just about every corner of the beauty space.

While Sephora and Ulta have both offered services for a while, department stores and drugstores have gotten more aggressive in turning stores into service-driven spaces, including partnering with new players like Birchbox and renovating existing stores to replicate elements that have made specialty retailers successful.

The movement is working in reverse as well. Glamsquad, which offers a range of beauty services and partnered with CVS in August to debut an express version of those services in stores, launched its own haircare line in December and told Retail Dive this month that it's planning to release a makeup line in April.

In many respects, the beauty space is becoming more innovative and more crowded. A slew of startups and young brands are entering the space with products built out of a closely watched feedback loop with customers. While many companies began their journeys online, they're moving into the brick-and-mortar space to challenge both the old guard of department stores and drugstores, and the wave of a fresh retail experience that Ulta and Sephora represent.

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