LVMH has chosen the Paris-based beauty retailer Sephora to extend their Les Journées Particulières to China for the first time, and Sephora CEO Chris de Lapuente has given Jing Daily an exclusive interview to share his excitement about hosting the LVMH event in China and Sephora’s future plans in the country’s growing beauty market.
Les Journées Particulières is an open house event that invites visitors to interact with world-renowned LVMH artisans around the world. Now, including Sephora Shanghai, this year’s Les Journées Particulières will reach 77 venues across five continents and 14 countries, making it a truly global celebration of luxury, art, and culture. “Each [LVMH] site was chosen for its innovative features and exceptional customer experience that capture the highest values of LVMH and Sephora,” said Lapuente.
Sephora’s Shanghai flagship store will offer fragrance, makeup, and skin care workshops to 180 guests this October 12 to 14. Interested participants can book online from September 22. Lapuente will also visit China in early September to inspect the site and review the ambitious program of new store openings.
Sephora will open its first concept store in Asia in Shanghai this month. The brand, with a presence in 34 countries worldwide and online, has recently appointed Chinese singer Huang Zitao, a new-generation singer with a bold makeup style, as the brand spokesperson for its latest campaign “My Beauty Power.”
Sephora also just launched a mini-program store on WeChat. Through the mini store, Chinese beauty lovers can stay updated on global trends, book makeup services, and order the latest products. The Sephora x Marvel collection was launched at the mini store “to inspire everyone to release their superpowers,” according to the brand’s press office.
Why was Sephora Shanghai flagship store selected as the only China site? What’s so special about it?
I am really excited that Sephora will be participating [in the LVMH open house] for the first time, with eight sites across France, Spain, Italy, the United States, and China. In particular, the Shanghai flagship store has the honor to be the only Les Journées Particulières site in China.
The Shanghai flagship store is our biggest in China, with a spectacular range of beauty brands and exclusive services. The building, with its dramatic red staircase and Sephora’s signature black and white stripes appearing as flowing light ribbons on the façade, used to be the most famous children’s goods destination in Shanghai, so it evokes sweet memories for many locals.
How will participate in the open house influence Sephora’s business in China?
By participating in this open house, I think we will increase awareness of our membership in the [LVMH] Group. It will also reinforce Sephora’s standing in China as the ultimate beauty retailer, as we always aim to “teach, inspire and play.” The timing is also right to boost our presence in China. We will open over 20 new stores each year in China over the next five years.
Sephora is well known for digital innovations. What are some new initiatives to enhance the beauty experience?
Our digital team is constantly looking at new developments in virtual reality and artificial intelligence. Our Virtual Artist app enables customers to try on makeup instantly and was named by Forbes magazine as one of the nine most powerful real-world applications of augmented reality. Cloud Shelf is another innovation that allows customers to navigate, search and order products via a voice-interactive and touchable in-store digital screen.
In July, Sephora opened a beauty playhouse in Singapore. Will Sephora bring such fun experiences to Shanghai?
The Beauty Playhouse was a vibrant and quirky pop-up designed to celebrate Sephora’s ten-year anniversary in Singapore. Visitors could slide down the colorful Cream Lip Slide, indulge in the life-sized Fenty Beauty’s new Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette, sample products at Fresh Beauty Kitchen or enjoy a Benefit Cosmetics-inspired ice cream. Around 25,000 people came to join the fun, creating over 100,000 posts on Instagram. Shanghai is a playground for creative consumer experiences, and we look forward to bringing such special experiences to all of our flagship stores, including those in China.
What does Sephora aim to achieve in China?
Our goal is not merely on retail transactions, but to build a social community for beauty lovers in China, driven by Sephora’s unique perspectives on beauty and authentic user-generated content. We believe this will transform China’s beauty customers from the current transactional followers to much more international and sophisticated makers and lovers of trends.