Sephora is winding down its partnership with JCPenney by launching a new program with Kohl's.
Sephora announced it plans to install 850 beauty shops inside Kohl’s stores by 2023, replacing the beauty retailer’s partnership with JCPenney, the company said. The first 200 Kohl’s locations will open next fall and sell roughly 100 brands. Those items will also become the exclusive beauty offerings on Kohl’s website.
“The Kohl's and Sephora partnership will bring a transformational, elevated beauty experience to Kohl's from the top global name in beauty,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s CEO. “This new collaboration is an excellent example of two customer-centric, purpose-driven companies leveraging each other’s strengths to make aspirational beauty far more accessible to millions of customers all across the country. It’s an extraordinary time of change, and I am thrilled to partner with Sephora, a brand that shares our values and our passion for innovation and reinvention. Today’s announcement is a perfect illustration of the bold moves we are making at Kohl’s to accelerate our growth and reimagine our future for the next era of retail.”
"Sephora at Kohl's" will aim to be a fully-immersive, premium beauty destination, designed within a 2,500-square-foot space and prominently located at the front of the store. When the first 200 locations open in Fall 2021, the Kohls.com online beauty selection will also convert to exclusively showcase an expanded assortment of Sephora's prestige product offerings.
Sephora has 500 of its 2,600 stores in the Americas and Kohl's has more than 1,150 locations in 49 states, serving 65 million customers, with very limited overlap between the two store networks. This combined offering of at least 850 Sephora at Kohl's locations by 2023 is designed to draw new and younger customers to Kohl’s and will bring the Sephora experience to millions of new shoppers and existing members of the Sephora beauty community, who may not live close to a Sephora location.
Sephora at Kohl’s shops will replace Kohl's current in-store beauty assortment and their positioning at the front of the store will provide maximum exposure for Sephora’s brand partners. Exterior signage at locations that feature the in-store shops will display both Kohl's and Sephora branding. These locations will be selected based on existing Sephora store proximity, market opportunity and customer insights.
Online, the Sephora at Kohl's experience will launch on Kohls.com in Fall 2021, making Sephora the exclusive beauty partner on Kohls.com.
At Kohl’s, Sephora will offer customers its signature Sephora experience, with a unique range of makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance brands. The stores will also deliver Sephora innovations in Clean beauty and self-care. Sephora’s high-touch customer engagement will prominently feature testing and discovery zones that serve up a rotating assortment of new, emerging or trending products, surprising and delighting customers every time they shop.
The shops will be staffed by Sephora-trained Beauty Advisors, who will deliver the excellent customer service Kohl's is known for with the deep beauty expertise, consultations and assistance in product discovery that Sephora clients love.
Sephora purchases at Kohl's and Kohls.com will be eligible for Beauty Insider rewards benefits, as part of Sephora's award-winning loyalty program. Kohl's will also offer the added convenience of easy in-store returns, store pickup and curbside pickup. Sephora.com and Kohls.com will also integrate their e-commerce experiences, allowing Sephora.com shoppers to find the nearest Sephora or Kohl's locations that have their beauty products available.
Sephora is the largest specialty beauty retailer in the world by store count and offers more than 100 beauty brands to the 65 million Kohl's customers across the U.S.
The Sephora news follows Ulta Beauty's deal with Target announced in November. Ulta plans to open more than 100 shops inside Target stores by next year and sell its products on the chain’s website.
The beauty segment has been a bright spot during the pandemic (joining food and home improvement). While sales of cosmetics have stalled as consumers stay home and use less makeup, shoppers have been snapping up wellness, body care and fragrance products as a way to step up self-care during the pandemic.