Sephora‘s recent Castle Towers store grand opening in New South Wales was a major triumph, with hundreds of early-bird beauty enthusiasts and shoppers queuing outside the store from 7am.

The event featured influencer meet-and-greets with Ashlee Day, Dom Skii and Peyton Smith, a live DJ, beauty stations, and abundant product samples.

The 401-square-meter store offers a selection of 101 exclusive brands in makeup, skincare, fragrance, and haircare, including favourites like Rare Beauty, Fenty Beauty by Rihanna, Tarte, Ouai, and Sephora Collection.

For exclusive insights into the event, Retail Beauty spoke to Mark O’Keefe, Sephora’s General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, who highlighted Sephora’s continued success and expansion plans.

  • What makes this Sephora store’s opening unique and significant?

This is our first new location in NSW since we opened Parramatta in 2018 and our first new store in NSW after we moved our Flagship Pitt St. location into the historic Soul Pattinson building it is in now. For us this opens up an exciting new corridor and will reach a completely new catchment of beauty lovers for us.

    • How was the store’s location chosen, and what’s the target customer base?

    The location was a very clear opportunity given that we had no stores in a reasonable proximity; the centre is the 18th highest in the country in traffic , 16th highest in absolute sales and for specialty sales (stores less than 400 sqm) it ranks no 11. It has a perfect rich concentration of the customers in our key focus demographics of Gen Z and millennials.

      • How does this store fit into Sephora’s expansion strategy?

      The store is our third new store this year, after Mt Gravatt in Queensland and Carousel in Perth; we have one more to come in Eastland in Melbourne, making it four in four states in 2023. We will accelerate further in 2024 with several outstanding opportunities in the pipeline.

        • Tell us about the store’s design and aesthetic.

        The store is the latest design expression of our current format in Asia Pacific. It comprises a perfect blend of product, services, thoughtful curation and show stopping brand expressions. However, our next generation design is just around the corner in 2024. Key elements of our Store of the Future concept (which has successfully debuted in Singapore and Shanghai) are beginning to appear in the 2023 new stores but the full design expression will come next year in Melbourne Central.

          • Which product lines and in-store experiences will be featured?

          The store will feature our absolute winners like Rare Beauty, Fenty Beauty, Tarte, Ultra Violette, Sephora Collection and excitingly our latest Holiday range which launched in October.

            • What’s unique about the hiring and training process?

            For hiring we have unprecedented interest in our new stores – almost a 1000 applicants for this store alone. The brand resonates so strongly with people passionate about beauty that we have a rich pool to choose from. Our extensive training program is four weeks long in the lead up to opening and blends education around product, our service ethos and our brand DNA that differentiates us from our competition locally and globally – especially our fierce commitment to DE&I and our progress around sustainability

            • Are there innovative marketing strategies for the store?

            A well planned pre-promotion plan to drive traffic and hype but the secret sauce is Sephora’s special blend of retailtainment and giveaways!

            • How will the store reflect current beauty trends?

            Sephora has a global perspective on beauty trends drawing from dozens of countries to bring the latest products, innovation, tips, tricks & hacks and the latest viral sensations. It’s a window to beauty on the global stage and we couldn’t be more excited to bring that to Castle Towers! 

            Images from the store opening below:

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              1. The grand opening of Sephora’s Castle Towers store in New South Wales was a major success! The influencer meet-and-greets, live DJ, and beauty stations created an exciting atmosphere. Plus, with a wide selection of exclusive brands, this store is a beauty lover’s dream come true. Congratulations to Sephora on their continued success and expansion plans!

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