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Beauty powerhouse goes high-tech, high-service in Manhattan

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Sephora is taking experiential retail to a new level in New York City.

The beauty retailer has remodeled two of its high-profile Manhattan locations to its new “Beauty Tip” (Teach, Inspire, Play) store format. The locations include Sephora’s 11,300-sq.-ft. store on 34th Street, its largest store in North America, as well as a Fifth Avenue location.

The revamped stores offer customers an experiential experience that includes immersive and unbiased beauty services, educated beauty consultants, state-of-the-art technology and a vast product assortment.

The 34th Street store has more than 13,300 products and an environment that encourages discovery. It includes a dedicated studio space, called the Beauty Workshop, which offers a wide range of services and beauty education classes for all skill and interest levels.

The heart of Sephora’s new format, the Beauty Workshop space features a sleek table that acts as a central workstation where customers come together to learn via group beauty classes with Sephora's makeup professionals, take in tutorials and the chain’s “virtual artist “technology on integrated iPad stations, or to gather inspiration from a shopable gallery that showcases user-generated content via a large digital screen.

Each station is equipped with its own product, iPad, USB port and WiFi, so clients can play, browse and share looks on the digital screen and online, right from their seat.

The store includes a number of high-tech tools to help customers select the right products, including the debut of a new digital tool that accurately measures the amount of moisture in the skin to aid in the selection products prior to services.

"Sephora opened in the U.S. 19 years ago with our first store in SoHo,” said Calvin McDonald, president and CEO of Sephora Americas. “It's fitting that as we round out almost two decades, we return to New York City to celebrate our largest and most unique beauty experience with the opening of our new 34th Street store.”

Meanwhile, the Sephora 5th Avenue store is a 9,000-plus sq. ft. location that features exclusive physical and digital tools for play and discovery, including an Anastasia Brow Studio on the second floor.

"Our innovative Beauty Tip Workshop concept encourages and supports a thriving beauty community, one that's focused on inclusiveness, promotes self-expression, celebration and education through our unparalleled service experiences, designed to teach and inspire our New York-based clients to play and discover beauty,” McDonald said.

In addition to New York, Sephora has opened its new experiential store format in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and Toronto.

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