French premium beauty and personal care brand, Sephora, is bullish on indian markets. The company is aiming to open 75 stores across India, owing to an overwhelming response it has received from customers. Although the luxury brand has garnered 50 per cent of its sales from the metros in India four years after its launch here, the focus would shift to tier 1 and 2 cities, Sephora India, CEO, Vivek Bali told TMS.
“We are aggressively expanding. The initial target is to reach 50 stores in a few years from now. But after that, we are looking at expanding our footprints to across 75 locations in the country. Tier 1 and 2 cities have already contributed a lot to our customer base. The responses from cities such as Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai have been amazing,” Bali explained.
Although the premium beauty market, pegged at $1.2 billion, is growing at a CAGR of 18 per cent, Sephora’s growth has been phenomenal at 63 per cent with double-digit year-on-year increase, Bali added.
The millenials and employed women constitute a major chunk of the luxury cosmetic brand’s customer base in India, contributing to its rapid growth and sales.
“Growing awareness among young consumers as well as the increased number of young working women have led to the growth of luxury cosmetic market in India. An increasing number of women, who are self-sufficient, want to spend on personal care and beauty, and therefore are not shying away from spending on good quality cosmetics,” Bali added.
He added that although women constitute a major chunk of consumers in the beauty and personal care segments, men are not holding back either. An increasing number of men are buying grooming products and premium fragrances, he said.“In fact, 50 per cent of our sale of fragrances come from men. There is an increasing demand for men’s grooming products such as toners, creams and moisturisers,” he said.
Physical stores have been the primary offline commerce channel for Sephora India, where the customers can have real-time access to the newest collection of brands, learn the make-up artistry and go for make-up trials, all of which help drive the brand sales.“Flash makeovers, which have been our USP across all the stores, are in fact completed within 10-15 minutes,” Bali said. “Keeping in view the growing rage against toxin-or-chemical-free cosmetics in india, sephora has tied up with premium ayurvedic brand Forest Essentials to cater to target customers,” he added.