Since 2007 Sephora USA and JC Penney have an agreement following which Sephora has opened about 150 shop-in-shops in U.S. department stores: These spaces of 150m2 offering a limited range (about 50 brands) enabled Sephora to double its number of outlets and JC Penney to go upmarket.
Now the two partners have announced a new initiative that will make an impact: They are testing vending machines for beauty products (using Zoom Systems Technology) in 20 JC Penney stores that do not have shop-in-shops, in malls where Sephora does not exist. These distributors offer some fifty references in skin-care, perfumes and makeup from Bare Escentuals, Korres, Smashbox, Juicy Couture, Dior Beauty, Philosophy, Peter Thomas Roth, Murad and StriVectin.
To understand this digression in matters of distribution, we must take a look at the previous ZoomSystems initiatives and view the results, then re-examine the Sephora innovations:
- They install vending machines in places with high passage - such as airports.
- Their clients are Apple, but also Elizabeth Arden and Coty.
- The distributors are often associated with innovative services: the Coty perfume distributors allow one to smell the chosen fragrance - the Elizabeth Arden distributor offers skin care advice ... all this with the help of touch-screen technology.
- The products are protected and delivered by a robot as the following video shows:
Sephora thus pursues its innovative distribution strategy. You may recall the major initiatives of recent years.
- The launch of sephora.com.
- The manner in which some stores are set up, with a door giving access to a plastic surgery clinic.
- Sales / advice on teleshopping networks: This is how it has increased its Internet sales far beyond that of its stores, and launched new skin-care and makeup brands.