Sephora returns to the UK

French health and beauty retailer Sephora has relaunched in the UK with a new store in Westfield White City, London.

The new 6,000 square foot store follows the launch of Sephora’s website (Sephora.co.uk) and app last year, and marks a return to physical retail in the country after shutting down its operations in 2005.

Sephora said the new store would be a combination of human touch and technology, and feature a “grand beauty hub” which will provide a range of beauty services and treatments performed by Sephora’s in-house experts.

Sarah Boyd, UK country manager of Sephora said: “After the launch of our website last autumn, we are thrilled to open our first Sephora store in one of London’s most vibrant shopping destinations. This new store will showcase Sephora’s best-in-class beauty expertise and provide unique services to UK customers.

Analysts at GlobalData have predicted that the return of Sephora could significantly impact the health and beauty landscape in the country.

Sofie Wilmott, lead analyst at GlobalData, said that while Sephora has only returned with a lone store, the “potential threat” to established UK retailers such as Boots and Superdrug may be significant.

“GlobalData’s UK consumer survey shows that one third of UK shoppers aware of Sephora, would switch to the global beauty retailer for their health & beauty purchases with the main retailers they would turn away from being Superdrug and Boots,” she said.

Superdrug recently experienced a sales jump of 16 per cent over the festive period.

Peter Macnab, chief executive of Superdrug, attributed the rise of profits to the retailer’s continued investment in stores, market-leading digital progression and innovation in its own brand product range.

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