At this point in the year, it's very clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that most Americans shop for makeup and beauty products. With brick-and-mortar stores struggling to stay afloat during the unprecedented mass migration to online shopping, many huge global retailers have been forced to pivot.
One positive trend towards ingenuity seen across the beauty industry at large is partnership between previously competitive retailers. For example, last month we saw the soft launch of Ulta Beauty at Target, and today, there's major news of a strategic retail alliance between Sephora and Kohl's — and it has potential to be even more game-changing.
According to this morning's press announcement published in Business Wire, the novel partnership will see a permanent "Sephora at Kohl's" shopping experience launch in 200 Kohl's stores nationwide in the fall of 2021, with long-term plans to expand to over 850 locations by 2023. From a strategic perspective, the partnership will serve to both draw a new consumer demographic to Kohl's, and will make the Sephora experience accessible to millions of Americans who may live in more rural communities far from a large-scale Sephora location.
Similar to the Ulta Beauty at Target blueprint, Sephora at Kohl's will be a shop-in-shop model with a 2,500 square-foot space, located prominently in the front of each participating Kohl's store. The new section will replace Kohl's current in-store beauty assortment, instead offering costumers the signature Sephora shopping experience. The subsection will be staffed by Sephora-trained Beauty Advisors, while the product selection will include over 100 beauty brands, a full assortment of makeup, skin care, hair products, fragrance, and Clean at Sephora labels. Online, the retailers will also integrate their e-commerce platforms in fall 2021, allowing shoppers to order their Sephora-brand beauty products through Kohls.com.
Martin Brok, Global President & CEO of Sephora, says the partnership will massively expand nationwide reach and visibility for both retailers. "With Kohl's, we will be able to bring Sephora closer to where our customers want us to be, offering them one transformative beauty experience that integrates our prestige product offering, our values and our communities, in a place where they come to get inspired and fulfill their lifestyle needs," Brok explains.
Kohl’s Chief Executive Officer Michelle Gass echoes the sentiment of mutual gains. "The Kohl's and Sephora partnership will bring a transformational, elevated beauty experience to Kohl's from the top global name in beauty," Gass says. "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."