Sephora was founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and is defined by its unique, open-sell environment with an ever-increasing assortment of products from carefully curated brands, featuring indie darlings, emerging favorites, trusted classics, and Sephora’s own line, Sephora Collection (Sephora.com). They are now owned by LVMH, which is a luxury goods company that owns other companies such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., and Tag Heuer. This is a huge status symbol in terms of them being compared against other beauty retailers such as Ulta Beauty, which is known for more of a mix of drugstore and luxury makeup, skincare, and haircare, whereas Sephora sells only luxury makeup, skincare, and haircare. Sephora has over 2,700 stores across 35 countries, along with having a huge e-commerce presence. They also are doing very well with their social media and influencer marketing to promote products and launches, which help push people in their stores or their website. Sephora also has a very diverse selection of makeup from just normal makeup that’s not cruelty-free to cruelty-free makeup, black-owned makeup brands, vegan makeup, etc. They are also located in many JCPenney stores, which adds to the convenience factor that Sephora likes to offer. Sephora has expanded outside of the United States which has definitely helped them be a leader in makeup retail stores since some of their competitors such as Ulta Beauty are limited to only the United States currently.
Sephora started out with stores in North America and Asia. They have most of their stores in North America spread all across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 2019, they planned on opening 35 stores across the United States, and they are constantly trying to open new stores every year. Sephora currently has around 200 stores all across Asia including being located in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and India. They are expecting the Chinese market to grow a lot more in the upcoming years, and therefore, they will be able to open more stores and hopefully expand globally. Sephora is also trying to expand its online presence in Mexico, Scandinavia, and the Middle East (cbinsights.com). In terms of physical stores, it launched its first Germany-based store in 2017. The company also began expansion in India at the beginning of 2018, with plans to open 8-10 more stores in the country over the next 3-4 years. Sephora has also expressed interest in building out a location in New Zealand (cbinsights.com). Sephora has been able to expand their company further in terms of an online presence as well as brick-and-mortar stores since LVMH acquired them in 1997. LVMH has many connections worldwide, since some of their brands originated in other countries, and therefore being the parent company to Sephora has brought Sephora great success and will continue to bring them success in the future.