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Sephora is opening 100 new stores in its largest expansion ever

This picture taken on November 29, 2019, shows the logo Sephora on the front facade of a shop in the city of Caen, northwestern of France. (Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP) (Photo by SAMEER AL-DOUMY/AFP via Getty Images)

The future of a successful mall retailer is apparently outside of the mall: Just look at Sephora.

The makeup chain announced that it’s opening 100 new stores across 75 cities in North America this year, marking its largest single-year expansion ever in the region. Sephora stores will primarily be in neighborhoods or strip centers, a shift from its previous strategy of opening stores in malls or encompassing a small part of some JCPenney locations.

Sephora said in a press release that brick and mortar continues to be a “huge opportunity” for the brand in addition to its online sales. Louis Vuitton’s parent company, LVMH, which owns the brand, said in its most recent earnings report that the makeup retailer is “experiencing strong growth and continues to gain market share.”

That’s a rarity in brick-and-mortar retail these days. Many competitors are closing stores.

The new stores will be slightly smaller than the mall counterparts, checking in at 4,000 square feet. Hair and skincare products will be featured at the front of the store, along with new beauty studios. There will also be a greater emphasis on events and classes.

New stores will open soon in areas where Sephora doesn’t have a big presence, including North Carolina and Tennessee. In total, Sephora will have around 600 locations in North America once the expansion is complete.

Sephora is facing increasing competition from both e-commerce competitors, such as Glossier and Amazon, and retail rivals. Ulta, for example, also builds stores outside of malls and has pleased investors with a new partnership to sell Kylie Jenner’s makeup.

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