Sephora will open 100 new locations across North America in 2020, more than doubling the number of store openings during 2019. The new locations will appear both inside shopping centers and on street fronts, with an emphasis on stores outside of traditional malls.
“We love our stores in malls…but the focus on this next 100 is more off-mall locations,” said Jeff Gaul, SVP of Real Estate and Store Development at Sephora Americas in an interview with CNBC. “We are getting closer to where she lives and works, where she does most of her errands…where she can pull right up and grab something.”
The expansion will introduce a smaller, 4,000-square-foot format designed to integrate with street and local shopping center settings. This concept will feature a layout with haircare and skincare featured prominently at the front of the store and a new Sephora Studio for skin and beauty services.
The overall expansion will be centered around local neighborhoods and community centers in more than 75 cities, including Charlotte, N.C., Nashville, Tenn. and San Jose, Calif. All new stores will be powered by 100% renewable energy as part of the Sephora Stands sustainability program.
Sephora’s emphasis on non-mall stores coincides with a difficult time for mall-focused retailers. GNC has been downsizing its footprint since the summer of 2019, while Forever 21 will be acquired out of bankruptcy. Studies have found that the decline in shopping center traffic may be due to economics rather than often-cited generational differences. Sephora is betting that its experience-based strategy can find an audience in any setting.