Kohl’s lands partnership with Sephora to open mini beauty shops in select stores

'Sephora at Kohl's' shops opening at 200 stores initially by fall 2021

Rendering of 'Sephora at Kohl's' shop. Courtesy of Kohl's Corp.

Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. on Tuesday announced its newest strategic partnership, with San Fransisco-based beauty retail giant Sephora.

As part of the long-term deal, Sephora will take over 2,500 square feet at the front of at least 850 Kohl’s stores by 2023 for ‘Sephora at Kohl’s’ shops. The first 200 locations are expected to open in fall 2021, according to a news release.

Sephora at Kohl’s shops will replace the location’s current in-store beauty inventory with items from more than 100 of Sephora’s beauty and cosmetics brand partners. When the first 200 locations open next year, Sephora’s product offerings will also take the place of Kohl’s online beauty selection at Kohls.com

The company did not disclose which stores will be making room for the new beauty assortment, but said locations will be selected based on existing Sephora store proximity, market opportunity and customer insights.

“The Kohl’s and Sephora partnership will bring a transformational, elevated beauty experience to Kohl’s from the top global name in beauty,” said Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer. “Today’s announcement is a perfect illustration of the bold moves we are making at Kohl’s to accelerate our growth and reimagine our future for the next era of retail.”

Sephora has a similar partnership with JCPenney, with ‘Sephora inside JCPenney’ shops located in the center of 600 store locations across the U.S.

Sephora operates more than 2,600 of its own stores in 36 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 500 stores across the Americas. Locally, the company has locations at Mayfair Mall, and inside JCPenney stores at Brookfield Square Mall, Southridge Mall in Greendale and Crossroads Shopping Center in Menomonee Falls.

“With Kohl’s we will be able to bring Sephora closer to where our customers want us to be, offering them one transformative beauty experience that integrates our prestige product offering, our values and our communities, in a place where they come to get inspired and fulfill their lifestyle needs,” said Martin Brok, Global president and CEO of Sephora. “This partnership also shows our confidence in the future of omnichannel retail and ideally positions both Kohl’s and Sephora to seize tomorrow’s opportunities, today.”

The new partnership reflects Kohl’s recent approach to beauty as a major growth area, expecting to triple the category’s sales next year. Kohl’s recently expanded its elevated beauty shops to 62 stores, and has seen a positive customer response from its recent launch of Lauren Conrad Beauty, the company said during its quarter three earnings call last month.

Amid tumultuous times for big box and brick-and-mortar retail, Kohl’s reported a 13.3% decrease in comparable sales and a net loss of $12 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2020. Total revenue was $3.97 million, down 14% from the same period last year.

But Kohl’s said its Q3 performance exceeded expectations as the retailer continues to weather the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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