IADS Exclusive: What to expect from the newly renovated Sephora Paris Champs-Elysées store?

IADS Exclusive March 2023 Christine Montard

Sephora is one of the largest distributors of LVMH perfumes and cosmetics, which generated 7.7 billion euros in turnover in 2022 with 3,000 stores in 35 countries. After the recent launch of the retailers’ new concept dubbed ‘Store of the Future’ in Singapore, London, Shanghai and Wuhan, Sephora reopened the Paris Champs-Elysées store at the end of October 2023 after 6.5 months of renovations. As the second biggest Sephora (behind Dubai and ahead of New York’s Soho store) and considering its prime location, this refurbishment is strategic to the brand. Also, Sephora will be an official partner of the Olympic torch relay during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The perspective of such a major event called for the “reinvent[ion of] the prestige beauty flagship experience”, as Guillaume Motte, the retailer’s President and CEO puts it.

It is the first major remodelling of the 1,200 sqm location since it opened in 1996. Back then, Chafik Studio (a guest speaker at the IADS in 2022) designed the store with what was already a true and unprecedented customer-centric vision. The renovation budget is a well-kept secret, but it is the largest investment from Sephora Europe.

Before the renovation, the store accounted for 12 million visitors per year (10,000 daily, compared to 20,000 for the Eiffel Tower), with a quarter coming from outside France. The store sells a product every 15 seconds. In total, 200 people work at the flagship, with 50 to 60 people per day. This does not include the hundred or so brand ambassadors working daily.

The IADS visited the store to see what it has to offer. The store concept has evolved and is more relevant. The store offers a clear segmentation, personalised services and digital features, only if they are considered essential to customers.

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