Beauty giant Sephora and department store chain Kohl’s are expanding their partnership as the Sephora at Kohl’s concept celebrates one year since opening.
The companies will expand the number of concept stores (currently approximately 600) to include a Sephora presence at all of Kohl’s 1,100-some locations across the U.S. as a way to make prestige beauty more accessible to more Americans.
“Sephora at Kohl's provides our customers with easier access to prestige beauty, and the partnership has brought in new, younger and more diverse customers to Kohl's," said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s CEO, in a news release. "Our success to date proves that this partnership is working, and this expansion is the next, exciting chapter in our history together.”
Some key metrics and highlights Kohl’s recently credited for the success of the store-within-a-store concept include:
The 200 Kohl’s stores with Sephora that opened in 2021 have maintained a high-single digit percent sales lift, relative to the balance of the chain. In the nearly 400 stores opened so far this year, the partners are seeing a mid-single digit percent sales lift, consistent with the initial performance in the first 200 stores.
Sephora at Kohl’s shows strength across all categories, including skincare, makeup and fragrance.
Shoppers are shopping across the store. Roughly half of all shoppers buying Sephora are attaching at least one other category in their purchase.
Kohl’s projects that Sephora at Kohl’s will grow to achieve $2 billion in annual sales by 2025.
In addition, Kohl’s says the partnership is succeeding in its goal to attract a new, younger and more diverse customer base. Customers that shop Sephora are Kohl's visit more frequently than the department store’s average customer and Kohl’s has acquired more than 1 million new customers since launching the partnership in August 2021.
The concept is also apparently impacting prestige brand partners. According to Kohl’s:
Sephora at Kohl’s brands are benefiting from the increased distribution. Top selling brands include the Sephora Collection private label, L'occitane Group’s Sol de Janeiro, Shiseido’s NARS, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty (owned by LVMH), Estee Lauder’s Too Faced as well as Charlotte Tilbury, which is set to expand its assortment in the coming weeks given its strong performance thus far.
Momentum for brands has prompted others to sign on, with brands including Versace, Murad, Clarins, Living Proof, Jack Black and Voluspa joining the Sephora at Kohl’s lineup earlier this year.
As the prestige product assortment continues to expand and evolve to meet the specific demands and preferences of Sephora at Kohl’s customers, there are continued opportunities for brands across categories. This includes plans to expand space in fragrance, given the success so far seen in the category, while men’s grooming will also receive dedicated space under the grooming essentials banner.
As expansion ramps up, Kohl’s and Sephora are adding a few new offerings, some of which have already rolled out, including:
The ability to purchase and redeem Sephora gift cards at Kohl’s stores, regardless of where the gift cards were purchased.
Piloting of a cross-company “Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store” offering, enabling shoppers to buy on Sephora.com and pick up at Kohl’s stores.
Continued cross-store promotions that make Sephora savings equally accessible to Sephora at Kohl’s customers.
The addition of Sephora beauty outposts adjacent to Amazon Returns within Kohl’s stores.
In addition, Kohl’s and Sephora will significantly expand the holiday gifting assortment and increase its marketing investment later this year, positioning the 600 stores with Sephora at Kohl’s and Kohls.com for success ahead of holiday traffic.
“In the past 12 months, we’ve been able to bring the premium experience Sephora is known and loved for to new communities across the country, giving them the access to beauty that we know they are yearning for," said Jean-Andre Rougeot, president and CEO, Sephora Americas, in the release. "With a significant number of new Beauty Insiders, including the successful re-engagement of clients and holiday shopping ahead, the reality is that one-year results are very encouraging, but this is just the beginning.”
In February, Kohl’s and Sephora added 400 new shops to the existing 200 locations already in place. At the time, Kohl’s aimed to have 850 full-sized, 2,500-square-foot Sephora at Kohl’s locations by 2023. The introduction of Sephora at Kohl’s has also been at the center of Kohl’s store remodels.
The shop-in-shops mimic freestanding Sephora stores, featuring a 2,500-square-foot, fully immersive beauty experience. Kohl’s aims to bring in customers through its doors who know the beauty retailer, with a curated assortment of makeup, skincare, hair and fragrance brands, as well as clean beauty and self-care. In addition, the shops feature Sephora-trained Beauty Advisors to provide beauty consultations and assistance with finding products.
View a map of the U.S. showing the number of Kohl’s stores that will have an in-store Sephora shop at the department store retailer in 2022 by state. Leading the way is California with 46 shops by year’s end, followed by Ohio with 30 then Texas and Illinois with 26.
Other Retailers Offering Beauty Concepts
Kohl’s is not alone in launching shop-in-shop concepts with a beauty retailer. Target partnered with Ulta Beauty for a similar partnership, with an initial goal of launching at 100 stores.
JCPenney is another department store getting in on the trend. After Sephora ditched its store-within-a-store partnership with JCPenney for Kohl’s, JCPenney developed its own in-store and online beauty concept, focused in part on inclusivity and elevating diverse founders and brands.
JCPenney Beauty, which launched in 2021 as an in-store and online experience, is available at 10 stores with more rollouts planned in 2023 and offers more than 170 brands.