So rumours (strong ones) are abound that there’s a Sephora UK relaunch happening at Westfield Stratford. It’s not 100% confirmed so the excitement levels and potential hysteria are on a bit of a holding pattern for now. So until the news is official, I wanted to share a few initial thoughts.
Now, I should state here that I LOVE Sephora, as soon as I hit US shores I am that stereotype girl rushing to the aisles. Getting Ollie to head elsewhere and leave me in my happy place for as long as his patience allows whilst I comb over the shelves picking up all the exciting items that I generally can’t get my hands on over here in the UK. Filling up those signature black and white bags with a whole load of OMG I NEED THIS products, and a few non-need splurges too.
Brand wise, my favourites to pick up in the US are generally all ones I can’t easily get elsewhere (which makes sense) so Bite Beauty, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Milk Makeup, Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs, Formula X. The thing is, that list used to be much longer than it is now. More and more of these hard-to-get brands are now available over here. Ok, so not all quite as easy to get our hands on as others – some are online only and of course a few aren’t available here yet. But the majority – you can get them via UK retailers. From Debenhams (Kat Von D), John Lewis (Marc Jacobs), Cult Beauty (Anastasia Beverly Hills).
Now, don’t get me wrong – this UK trickle of US brands has changed little about how excited I am when I am in the US to visit a store and have a splurge. But that’s the thing, it’s part of that holiday feeling when you can splurge. The exchange rate is a touch more generous, the guilt a touch less… that’s part of the appeal. The novelty of it. You might note that I only mention the US really here, as much as the European stores are great and I still get a buzz at being able to visit one. I don’t find them quite as exciting as those in the US – mostly again because of the brands available. Which is probably the biggest question mark over the UK relaunch is about what brands they will or will not be able to bring over here. Then also what the prices are going to be like.
I do really think Sephora are being a little late to the party. After Forever 21, American Eagle and Victoria Secret launched over here a few years ago – I think that would have been the prime time for them really. But now a vast number of the cosmetics brands they are known for stocking are now on sale elsewhere here. Which maybe makes the appeal a touch less exciting? Plus when Forever 21 is struggling in the UK, having already closed it’s Stratford store and others around the UK…the rumours there are that Oxford Street is to follow…which is a real shame as I was one of the most excited about their UK launch. But I guess they just have so much competition over here in the fast fashion market of cheap goods it’s hard to see them keeping up.
This doesn’t change the fact I’ll be there with bells on shout it launch. But will I make it a mission to go to Sephora over other places I can already purchase the brands I want from? Who knows, it really does depend how it’s all done. I’m excited, but quietly so – but can’t help but think the timing isn’t great.
I’d love to know your thoughts on Sephora launching in the UK? Will you be shopping to VIB level before you know it or maybe not quite packing in your Boots points just yet…