Make-Up Attempt: Sephora returning to Hong Kong market after flopping in 2010

A Sephora outlet in the US. The brand is returning to Hong Kong next month after a long absence. Photo via Flickr/Phillip Pessar.
A Sephora outlet in the US. The brand is returning to Hong Kong next month after a long absence. Photo via Flickr/Phillip Pessar.

Sephora, the LVMH-owned cosmetics chain, has plans to jump back into the Hong Kong market with both feet after a nine-year hiatus, with a new flagship store slated to open at the IFC mall next week and plans to aggressively expand after that.

The return to Hong Kong comes amid a global expansion kick for the brand, which opened some 100 new stores last year, and has enjoyed solid growth thanks in no small part to the strong sales of LVMH’s Fenty Beauty line, launched in partnership with Rihanna.

It will represent the international cosmetic chain’s second attempt at a Hong Kong brick-and-mortar presence after a Sephora location opened in Mong Kok in 2008 but was shuttered after just two years.

The new flagship location is scheduled to open at 9am on September 3rd in a 4,200-square-foot space next to Zara. Sephora loyalty members will have “fast track” access to the store, and the first 300 customers will also get gift bags with free swag.

Meanwhile, the brand’s ambitions in Hong Kong run far beyond the IFC location.

Sephora plans to open seven more stores in the city within a three-year timeframe, Inside Retail reports. The next physical store will be at Windsor House in Causeway Bay, and is scheduled to open next year.

The international brand could fill a niche in the Hong Kong cosmetics market, particularly among expats underserved by popular local brands, and among Hongkongers who’ve gotten a taste for Sephora’s exclusive offerings — like Tarte Cosmetics, Kat Von D, and Huda Beauty — overseas.

The closure of the previous Sephora store in Mong Kok has been attributed to poor location, low brand recognition, and high rent, according to the SCMP.


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