Beauty “TIP”

By Erin M. Loewe

Photo courtesy of Sephora

Companies continue to up the ante on experiential retail, and Sephora is no exception. In August, the beauty retailer opened its 400th store on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, a space featuring the brand’s first Beauty TIP Workshop. The 10,040-sq.-ft. store offers fresh new experiences that emphasize the “teach, inspire and play” aspects of Sephora.

“Every detail works collectively to create a space for our clients to ‘Beauty Together,’ offering an incomparable level of integrated physical and digital designed to teach and inspire our community of beauty enthusiasts, partnered with an unparalleled assortment of prestige-only beauty that engages them to play and discover what works best for them,” says Calvin McDonald, president and CEO of Sephora Americas.

Central to this new concept is The Beauty Workshop, a long table equipped with stations stocked with iPads and beauty products, so that clients can take group classes from Sephora’s skilled staff or do virtual tutorials.
At the 14-seat Sephora Beauty Studio, customers can receive one-on-one makeovers and are emailed customized detailed plans via the new Digital Makeover Guide. Clients will also enjoy stations featuring Sephora + Pantone Color IQ touchscreens for makeup shade matching and top-quality mirror and canopy lighting fixtures.

A new fragrance studio experience features InstaScent technology, which allows clients to experience up to 18 general scent families through a dry-air delivery system. Once they have chosen a favorite fragrance, they can custom engrave their new bottles.

Finally, the new Skincare Studio offers four stations and a sink to facilitate the brand’s popular mini facials. A large touchscreen makes it easy to access Sephora’s exclusive Skincare IQ diagnostic.

“We believe that our retail footprint exists to do so much more than just transact,” McDonald said in a recent Chicago Tribune article. “It’s designed to provide a service, a mini-makeover, it’s designed to teach, where you can sit down and have an interaction with a cast member. [The transaction is] the end result of her exploring, her learning, her being inspired and playing and having fun.”


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