Sephora to undertake massive expansion; to open 12 stores

With a large number of Indian buyers upgrading to premium cosmetics and grooming products, the French premium beauty and cosmetics retailer Sephora is planning to expand its market footprint in India. The retailer currently has 13 company-owned stores in metropolitan centers and is looking at nearly doubling its presence by opening 10 to 12 more by April 2019, as per a media report .

Sephora India is a joint venture between LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton owned Sephora and and Arvind Ltd. The products marketed by Sephora in India include the make-up products comprising products for face, eyes, lips, cheeks, nails, and accessories, skincare and fragrances, men’s grooming and haircare, and the bath and body products.

Market at a glance

Of India’s $8 billion beauty cosmetics and grooming market, nearly $2 billion is the share of the premium segment. As per a survey conducted by Assocham and MRSSIndia , the beauty cosmetics and grooming market in India is predicted to reach $35 billion by 2035. While the overall market is expected to grow by 18 percent, the premium segment, constituting products priced at ₹ 1,000 and above, is likely to grow by a whopping 28 percent over the next few years.

Some of the factors driving demand for cosmetics and grooming products include a rapid rise in number of working women, growth in purchasing power of middle class buyers, and the rising aspirations of people to look good. Incidentally, the men’s grooming segment has been posting a faster growth than the total personal care and beauty industry in India, the report mentions .

On a growth trajectory

Beating the market averages, Sephora seems to be experiencing a massive 70 percent growth in its revenues. This year, the cosmetics and beauty products retailer hopes to reach a sales revenue target of ₹180 crore for the financial year 2018. Readers may recall that this target is tad higher than what Sephora had projected last year. The company had estimated last year that it would reach ₹ 170 crore revenue target in 2018.

Globally, the company showcases more than 300 renowned brands at its stores. Some of the prominent brands it sells through its stores include Artist Couture, BURBERRY, Calvin Klein, CHANEL, Chloé, Deborah Lippmann, DKNY, FENTY BEAUTY by Rihanna, Glow Recipe, HERMÈS, Hourglass, HUDA BEAUTY, Hugo Boss, Kilian, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Olaplex, Ouai, and Volition Beauty, among others.

Being present in 33 countries, Sephora has nearly 2,300 stores worldwide. The company entered the Indian market in the year 2012. However, it pressed the market expansion button in India with its tie-up with Arvind Ltd in 2015. Arvind is a major textile manufacturer from India and the flagship company of the Lalbhai Group. Reportedly, Sephora sells 23 brands exclusively at its stores as well as on its portal. Some of the top brands it showcases in India are Benefit Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, and Smashbox.

Going forward, Sephora plans to add 14 more brands to its portfolio and expand its market reach with nearly 50 stores in India by 2022 . In addition to increasing the number of outlets, the company has also been focusing on systematically increasing the average size of its stores—from 2,700 sq. ft. to about 3,200 sq. ft on an average .

In addition to retail, Sephora is present in a few other business areas around beauty, fashion and cosmetics. These include services such as makeover, mini-makeover, beauty services, skincare services, mini-facials, etc. It conducts classes covering subjects like age-defying skincare, teen make-up, perfect lips, etc., and holds in-store events, for example, Fenty Beauty Mini Makeover.