Sephora picks N1 flagship to test out UK innovations

Cosmetics retailer Sephora's new store in London's N1 shopping centre will be the UK flagship for the LVMH-owned chain.

The shop, Sephora's first in inner London, is a test store for new products.

UK general manager Lucy Mori said products will be brought over from the US, where Sephora has 70 stores.

Examples include Dr Perricone, an anti-ageing skincare range developed in the US, and comprising items such as 'lip plumpers' - described as Botox without the injections.

The 200 sq m Islington property was selected because it was one of the few locations in inner London that could accommodate the exact requirements of the brand, said Mori.

'It's a strict concept that fits into a perfect rectangle and it's hard to find that in older buildings,' she said.

Other premises in locations such as Oxford Street had been considered but were ruled out, either because of unsuitable layout or because they were too expensive.

'We also need a location where we can make a difference, rather than be up against rows of department stores,' said Mori.

Mori aims to replicate the success of Sephora's Paris flagship on the Champs Elysees, where a 'young and fashion-conscious' customer base shop during a night out. Despite its luxury brand parentage, Sephora's customer base is mass market.

When Sephora arrived in the UK in April 2000, a target of 150 sites was set. Mori refused to be drawn on current growth ambitions. At present, there are nine British stores.