Sephora, a touch of luxury
Last Updated on November 21, 2018
In August, 1969, Shop 8, now Sephora, started out as a small perfumery in Limoges, France. Dominique Mandonnaud, the owner of Sephora, had a philosophy that perfumes were very personal to each client so, he offered customers an opportunity to try out the products before buying them. It became known as the assisted self-service sales experience. He was, indeed a trailblazer, grouping products together by type, not brand. By 1979, 12 more stores had opened.
In 1993 Mandonnaud purchased the Sephora chain of 38 stores and merged it with his 12 Shop 8 stores under the Sephora brand. Today, Sephora has 938 U.S. store locations.
Throughout the 1990s, Mandonnaud continued to expand the Sephora brand, opening up its flagship store in Champs Élysées in 1997. In that same year, Mandonnaud and his partners sold Sephora to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate headquartered in Paris. LMVH proceeded to expand the stores globally and broaden the chain’s product offerings to include beauty and cosmetic products. Mandonnaud retired that year, right around the time of his 50th birthday.
Since 1997, the Sephora brand has branched out into 30 countries around the world. By 1998, Sephora had expanded into Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Poland.
In 1998, Sephora expanded again, opening it first U.S. store in New York City. Sephora’s North American headquarters is located in San Francisco, with offices in New York City and Montréal. In 2016, the Magnificent Mile in Chicago became Sephora’s new flagship location.
On 31 March 2017, Sephora opened its largest retail location in North America near Herald Square in Manhattan. The store is approximately 11,380 square feet and features over 13,000 products.
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