Across the categories of Makeup, Fragrance and Skincare, brands are presented within a unified Sephora-driven presentation format to enable cross shopping, and clients are encouraged to touch and test all products. That point of differentiation is an essential part of our retail proposition and brand essence, and has proven effective in enabling clients to explore the complete range of brand offerings by category. In complement to this interactive and unified presentation of each brand in Sephora’s product mix, clients are guided through each world’s products with anchor presentations.
These presentations highlight trends, explain how to combine products to customize a makeup look or skincare regimen, and bridge into potential service consultations or class registrations with our cast of experts. While much success has come from the breadth of products offered to clients, we have also discovered that the candy-store effect can be overwhelming. Clients love the access and choice, but frequently crave guidance to hone their selections. So balancing bounty with points of access is key to navigating our stores and assortments.
Sephora aims to serve as a beauty editor, offering a vast array of products, but providing a curated point of view that helps each client delve into the selection best suited for her. THE STORE DESIGN CHALLENGE Sephora has a strong market presence in Makeup, Skincare and Fragrance, but is most known in North America for its Color (the internal term for the Makeup category) shopping experience. This model defines the brand and the remainder of the store’s format.
The unbridled product access, the ability to trial any product in the store, and the sense of fun and interaction remain popular and engaging for our clients. But Sephora is interested in exploring how its Color experience might evolve to better evoke trends, more deeply engage clients in meaningful product exploration, and offer a less static feel from one client’s visit to her next. This challenge is to rethink the store’s formula for Color, preserving the defining and differentiating aspects of the opensell cosmetics model, but updating its look, feel and client experience.
Students are to identify what they think is essential from the current in-store model, articulate the opportunities for evolution based on the added advantage created in the client’s shopping experience and engagement with the brand, and then propose a holistic concept presenting the evolution of the total Makeup department. The updated look, feel and client experience should allow implementation across the range of existing stores. Store sizes overall range from 3,800 to 6,000 square feet on average, with Color comprising approximately half the store.
Entries should include a suite of core fixtures and features, complemented by interchangeable elements, with the demonstrable ability to reconfigure into a variety of spatial conditions. The fixturing suite should be unified in language, but may articulate through a range of elements and presentation methods. Modularity is essential, as is solving for the challenges of presenting small-scaled products in an organized and inviting way. The See-Try-Buy model at the heart of the Sephora store concept must be inherent in all presentation solutions.
Sephora will supply the approved corporate logo, as well as its brand mark and red Pantone match, The Flame. The Sephora name is derived from the fusion of the Greek god Sappho with the biblical figure Zipporah, and the Flame is the representation of her enduring spirit. Along with the word mark and Flame, Sephora’s black and white stripes are a globally iconic branding element, used with purpose as part of the storefront architecture. Derivations and references to these brand codes may be considered in the design of the fixturing programs, but should be treated with a level of sophistication.
Sephora stores are black and white, with judicial use of red accents. Color may be introduced through graphics or visual merchandising, but all store fixture elements must adhere to this branded color palette. Complementary metal finishes are permitted, as are variations in the materiality and proportional relationship of the brand colors. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS • The current fixture program is composed of two core fixtures. A “linear” - the store’s base wall unit – and a gondola – the makeup category’s base floor unit. Sephora creates these base modules, and then ndividual brands work with Sephora to customize the tray components to each season’s assortments and stories.
These trays are updatable and interchangeable to any position within the linear and gondola system; this function must be preserved in the design concept. • Limitations of the current fixture program include a lack of flexibility to create more varied spatial configurations and presentations, a static graphic communication system, and an overall feeling of being fixture-heavy and cumbersome. Fixtures should focus more on the product and storytelling. Objectives within each of the brand’s feature presentations include: focus and articulation of current trends and the latest product innovations; clear secondary presentations of core product groupings such as eye shadows, foundations, and lip products; a forward presentation of each product available for the client to test, backed by packaged and accessible selling stock; and additional back-stock storage in each unit.
• The newly proposed core fixture solution needs to provide for a base system that preserves an underlying framework to each brand’s presentation while evolving how the brands can express their trend and product stories. The overall department is punctuated by highlight areas. Here Sephora presents a curated assortment of the best of a product segment, such as mascaras, or highlights a larger trend, such as nail art. Design proposals are to reconsider how trend and highlight areas function and are integrated into the “brand library” of the overall department. These areas should be flexible for frequent updating, encourage play and trial as well as shopping and learning, and be designed to enable varied configurations over time. • The total store is anchored by the “Beauty Studio,” the destination for clients to receive cast-assisted consultations.
Design proposals should thoughtfully integrate the experience of experimentation and trial throughout the revamped Color experience. Clients should always feel exposed to looks, trends and product innovations, with the ability to try the products individually, in groups or with cast assistance. • Sephora’s virtual presence has grown. It is the leading online beauty retailer, with a loyal following across all forms of social media. The virtual experience with the brand affects the in-store shopping experience, so students should consider digital integration across the Color experience. The area should range from 1,600 to 2,500 square feet, comprising a mixture of wall and floor fixtures. PRESENTATION REQUIREMENTS AND FORMAT • Each entry should be submitted in an 8-1/2 x 14 bound booklet, not to exceed 12 pages. • The design may be hand-drawn, rendered, photographic, and/or computer-generated. • Students also must submit a copy of their design in PDF format entry on a CD. A PDF version of the booklet is also required. • The submission should address the general requirements above at a scale and composition determined by the student.
A written concept statement limited to two paragraphs must highlight the unique fixture design, the rationale for design decisions, material selections, and the demographic for whom the design was made. GENERAL INFORMATION AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS • This competition is open to undergraduate college students only. • Students may only enter ONE category; either the visual merchandising category or the store design category. • The student’s name and school name is not to be visible anywhere on the presentation pages or cover. Each entry must include a printed entry form and disclaimer clipped to the back of the entry. • Each entrant must complete and submit an online copy of the entry form as well. • Students must also submit a copy of their entry on a CD or DVD in a PDF format with the entry. Please make sure to label the CD or DVD. • Students are advised to keep a copy of their entries, as entries will not be returned. Entries must be received by 5:00 p. m. Pacific time on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. Sephora PAVE Entries Attn: Paul Loux & Hillary Washington 525 Market Street, 32nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94105