Sephora Opens 1st Canadian ‘TIP’ Concept Store

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Paris based beauty retailer Sephora (operating under the LVMH corporate umbrella) has opened Canada’s first ‘Beauty TIP Workshop store’ at Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre. The new store is only the fourth in North America to feature the new concept. 

Sephora describes the next-generation ‘Teach, Inspire, Play’ concept as being “where digital technology and services fuse, culminating in a truly revolutionary shopping experience for modern day beauty enthusiasts of all ages to beauty together”. The new concept store also includes “a customized array of one-of-a-kind services and tutorials.” 

The expanded Yorkdale Sephora is now one of Canada’s largest, spanning 9,146 square feet. It recently expanded from 5,725 square feet, gaining a corner presence in the mall’s expansion leading towards a new 196,000 square foot Nordstrom store which opens to the public on October 21. Other Sephora locations featuring the new TIP concept include San Francisco (33 Powell Street), Boston (Prudential Center) and, opening this week, a flagship at 605 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago. 

The ‘Beauty Tip Workshop’ consists of an area for up to 10 clients to learn via group beauty classes led by Sephora experts, gain self-guided access to tutorials using iPad stations, or to gather inspiration from The Beauty Board — Sephora’s shop-able 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 Yorkdale store also features an expanded Beauty Studio offering complimentary makeovers with larger stations than before. The new set-up includes 12 beauty studio seats, and Sephora + Pantone Colour IQ touchscreens, with updated IQ technology including foundation, lip colour and concealer for a scientifically precise match to complement one’s skintone from Sephora’s selection of 1,900+ foundations, 400 concealers and 3,500 lip shades.

The store also features ‘Fragrance IQ’ — an innovative touch-screen technology that allows users to shop a variety of different scents with the tap of a finger. As well, a four-seat Benefit Brow Bar has opened in the store, which also features brighter lighting, mobile POS stations and a dedicated gift wrap station.

In September, Yorkdale’s Sephora will launch ‘The Skincare Studio’, offering one-on-one skincare consultations, with a sink station and four well-lit seating areas to facilitate the new Mini Facial service. Incorporated into The Skincare Studio will be a touchscreen that offers instant access to Sephora’s exclusive Skincare IQ diagnostic, helping clients determine the best products based on their skin concerns and demystifying the wide range of skincare solutions Sephora offers.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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    • There will most definitely be more luxury store announcements for Yorkdale, likely more towards 2017. Cheesecake Factory is off the table as far as we’re aware — Sport Chek expanded into that space.


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