Daily Insights

Beauty Brands Make Up For Lost Foot Traffic

By: Mackenzie Baker | Dec 07, 2020

Sephora will take its plethora of products to Kohl’s after ending its decade-long partnership with J.C Penney. Beginning in 2021, the beauty brand will set up mini shops within Kohl’s brick and mortar locations as it looks to attract new consumers outside of traditional mall spaces. 

By 2023 Sephora will set up 850 mini stores within Kohl’s, beginning with the first 200 next fall. The partnership could help Sephora extend its presence to more suburban areas and help Kohl’s build up its underdeveloped beauty offerings. The store-in-stores will be 2,500 sq feet and include Sephora-trained workers who will offer the same experiences as its traditional stores, including makeup application. The Sephora mini shops will be placed at the front of Kohl’s store and its logo will be put up alongside the Kohl’s logo on the front of each location. 

This isn’t the first time Sephora has brought its products into a department store, as the brand has worked with J.C. Penney since 2006. However, as foot traffic in malls rapidly decreases and J.C. Penney endures years of dwindling sales, Sephora’s decision to move beyond malls could help it enter new markets and potentially attract new brands according to a Gartner report. The brands’ partnership ends in 2023, though Sephora will be well underway with its new mini shops at Kohl’s by then, allowing it to get ahead in sales and exposure. To further highlight its new partnership, Sephora will begin selling its products through Kohl’s website early next year. The fresh attention could build buzz around the partnership and help Kohl’s quickly start boosting its presence in the beauty industry. 

Sephora’s partnership with Kohl’s arrives just weeks after Ulta and Target announced their own store-in-store experience. While both mini shops will launch in the fall of 2021, Ulta’s will be half the size of Sephora’s and be in far fewer locations to begin with. Still, the presence of two beauty retail giants moving into well-known department stores shows how the beauty industry is shifting to reach consumers after the Coronavirus pandemic altered traditional shopping habits. While both Sephora and Ulta saw a rise in e-commerce sales this year, moving into Kohl’s and Target, respectively, could ensure an additional, safe revenue stream for the future.

Bringing Sephora aboard could boost Kohl’s attractiveness to beauty buyers while helping it enter an industry it’s been traditionally nascent in. The partnership could also extend Sephora’s presence around the United States and prime it for a beautiful future.