Sephora CEO: China is the “Second Major Priority Market”

11月 08, 2023

CEO of Sephora, Guillaume Motte, in interviews with various overseas media outlets, including Agence France-Presse (AFP), expressed its parent company LVMH’s expectation for Sephora to achieve annual revenues surpassing 20 billion euros. This milestone mirrors the achievement of LVMH’s flagship brand, Louis Vuitton, in the past.

Currently, Sephora operates in 35 countries worldwide and employs 46,000 people, with 39,000 working in retail positions. Industry insiders estimate that in 2022, Sephora’s revenue reached 12 billion euros, making it the second-largest brand under LVMH, trailing only behind Louis Vuitton, which boasts annual sales revenue of 20 billion euros. To provide a point of comparison, in 2011, Sephora’s revenue was a mere 2 billion euros.

Sephora’s first future store in China

Guillaume Motte stated, “My dream is to reach €20 billion. Sephora could generate that figure in the regions in which it operates. I’m unable to give a time-frame, but it’s a sound figure and a fine objective.”

To achieve this goal, Sephora plans to “continue to gain market share” in its already matured countries, starting with the United States and China. By 2024, Sephora plans to open 100 new stores worldwide. Currently, Sephora operates approximately 3,000 stores globally.

In what Motte referred to as the “world’s largest beauty market,” the United States, Sephora currently runs 700 stores, with an additional 1,000 stores in partnership with Kohl’s. “We open 50 stores annually in North America, and I believe we will continue this trend for at least the next 5 to 10 years.”

In Sephora’s “second priority region,” China, the brand currently has over 300 stores, a number close to its stores in its home country, France (approximately 300 stores). Motte stated that having a similar number of stores in China as in France is not rational because “China is a huge land of opportunities.” He added that Sephora has the capability to open more stores in China, stating, “We have the capacity to open many more stores in China, where we’re only present in 90 cities. Some of our competitors are already established in 150, 190 cities.”

Motte was appointed as Sephora’s CEO in January 2023, and he stated, “My job is to build growth on a multi-yearly basis and (…) to support our staff in navigating uncertainty.” He added, “We seem to have forgotten that it took quite some time for Europe and the United States to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.” And now, while China is bouncing back “slowly, but it remains a country with amazing potential” and has an “unimaginable appetite for beauty [products].”

In September of this year, had an exclusive interview with Ping Maggie Chan, who has been the General Manager of Sephora Greater China for five years. Over the past five years, she has focused on upgrading and transforming Sephora China from multiple dimensions, with a core focus on “diversity, breakthroughs, and innovation.”

Especially in terms of store location selection, Sephora tends to choose high-end commercial complexes. In addition, factors such as foot traffic in the area, transportation convenience, and brand exposure are also important considerations. At the time of the interview, Sephora had a total of 328 offline stores in Greater China, spanning 93 cities. According to Chan, there are plans to open more than 20 stores in Greater China in the second half of this year.

Ping Maggie Chan, General Manager of Sephora Greater China (second from the right), and other senior executives participating in the opening day event of Sephora’s Shanghai Future Concept Store.

| Source: Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg, Global Cosmetics News, Luxe.CO, Sephora France Official Instagram

| Image Credit: Sephora France Official Instagram, Sephora Official Website

| Editor: Liu Jun