I hate to say it but the Sephora-in-the-UK rumours are back. We have been here so many times before but it looks like it’s scheduled for 2019/2020. If it happens at all… I’m past caring. Speaking of Sephora, they’ve confirmed that the reason the UK can no longer access their US site is data protection.
You wouldn’t want to be Lush in Australia right now – due to a ‘payroll error’, they’ve been underpaying their staff since 2010. But, once the mistake was realised (although…. eight years!!) they reported themselves to the relevant authorities so that it can be put right through the correct processes.
In the latest round of acquisitions, P&G has snapped up First Aid Beauty. If you don’t know First Aid, it’s quite a cool, mid-price, problem-solution brand that’s a good fit for the P&G portfolio. The brand has been quiet for some time now (presumably while negotiations take place) but it’s ready for some new creative thinking and investment.
Pat McGrath’s own beauty brand has allowed private equity firm Eurazeo to take a minority stake. As far as I can see, it’s their first beauty acquisition – they’ve got investments in Moncler and Desigual on the fashion side. The bigger question is when might Pat McGrath come here other than via Net A Porter? Everyone is chasing it. Part of the statement from Eurazeo about their stake alluded to joining the brand on its ‘global journey’. We’re ready!
Iconic London has been acquired by private investment firm Blue Gem (also see QMS Medicosmetics, Jack Wills and Dr Vranjes to name a few) who plan a US roll out. I don’t think Iconic made much of a ripple here – it’s a very, very average make up brand – so not sure how well it’s going to do over in the US where there is even more ‘high street’ make up competition.
Chanel lawyers are on the warpath (rightly so) suing an eBay seller for 56 million dollars (yikes) for selling their beauty and fragrance products unpackaged and unauthorised.
Look out for Tarte Cosmetics’ diffusion line – Awake, having a relaunch. I never knew it had launched in the first place so perhaps you could say it’s due! They’re both owned by Japanese company Kose (Jill Stuart, Decorte, Addiction and the Japanese Rimmel licence) so Awake is bringing some steady and reputable skin care and make up to the millenial party. It’s not available in the UK yet and Tarte in the UK is mainly from QVC so perhaps that’s where we’ll see Awake first.
If ever there was a stronger indication that brands are exerting zero tolerance over mega-influencers, it’s the (awful) story of Kuwaiti beauty blogger Sondos al Qattan who posted an Instagram live video bemoaning the fact the her Filipino maid was now entitled to four days off a month. Previously Filipino workers had few rights and often had their passports taken from them. She worried about how she would get a refund if her maid returned to her home country and on that basis didn’t want a Filipino servant any more. Within a few hours of the inevitable backlash, Max Factor severed their ties with her, as did fragrance brand M. Micallef. Also, MAC has announced no further activities (they have nothing in progress currently with Sondos) with her will ever happen, apparently even unfollowing her on Instagram, and French hair brand Phyto has pulled their partnerships with her. It’s unlikely she’s work with global brands again. We could go back only a couple of years and brands might have tried a diplomatic approach rather than the blanket, quick fire withdrawal of partnerships. If you’re a mega-influencer it’s time to realise that it’s not about you all of the time – if you enter into professional contracts and partnerships with brands, whatever you say and whatever you do represents them too. This beauty blogger has ruined her own professional reputation and potentially damaged her partnering brands’ reputations too…. it’s a warning shot.
Sources & Resources: Theguardian.com, globalcosmeticnews.com, aljazeera.com, thefashionlaw.com
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
I shall boycott Sephora if they do deign to come to the UK. They’re treatment of customers was disgusting, so they can do one 🙂
I shall boycott Sephora if they do deign to come to the UK. Their treatment of customers was disgusting, so they can do one 🙂
Yawn to Sephora! When they did actually have two stores in the UK(everyone wanted a website but we never got one), the customer service was awful! I phoned spoke to an SA who went to check they had the shade I wanted in stock. Ten minutes later another SA picked up the phone and asked if she could help? Seems the other SA went on their break and never told anyone I was on hold on the phone!
I too am fed up with the will they/won’t they with Sephora. Quite frankly I can already access most of what I want from other sources, so who cares? I think they’ve shot themselves in the foot with regards to the UK market, there is only so much consumers will put up with.
Same here. If we do get a UK Sephora again it will almost certainly be the inferior European version you get in France & Spain. (This is not a dig at Europe; the US version is loads better, that’s all.)
As for Sephora US, the data protection thing is balls. They’re still selling to Germany and some other European countries, which they wouldn’t be otherwise.
The Sondos story is hideous but fascinating. We know our society is pretty unbalanced, but how insanely out of whack must things be in Kuwait for her to be unaware that treating humans like chattels is quite rightly reviled elsewhere? She still doesn’t seem to get it even now.
Sephora is the UK does not really make much (business) sense to be honest. Most of the brands that they would be able to sell here already had exclusive contracts with Debenhams and others and are slowly making their ways into other stores as well. The products that people actually want, the ones we cannot access, are the ones they would probably not be able to sell anyway, at least not for a long while due to all the regulations of the EU. So that leaves their brand cosmetics which are pretty okay, but you can easily purchase those from France without paying taxes. And the 6 euros delivery fee is basically the same as for most UK based stores, but you can ‘get your money back’ by buying some products that are available in the UK, but at a lower price.
Sephora haven’t helped themselves by annoying their core customers in the first place. I know I won’t be rushing to spend my hard earned money at a store that treats it customers v poorly.
Wow, that story about the influencer just shocked me. I’m not so naive to think slavery doesn’t exist, but I just didn’t expect it from a major public figure. I have no clue who she is, truthfully, but I’m still outraged that she would say those things at a law meant to protect and improve someone’s working condition and life…
How come Sephora can still send me marketing emails and remind me about my points?
How can I get myself unsubscribed from their email list and make sure I don’t pay $10 for flash shipping for a year when I can’t use it?
Tweet them, they can still access your account even though we can’t in the uk. They checked mine when I dmed them. Apparently if we go to Canada/ us we will be able to see our accounts – any friends who could do it for you?
I must say I always enjoy going into Sephora when in France but find that the sheer variety of skincare/cosmetics is quite bewildering — plus husband looking bored by the exit! — and rarely buy anything. Think I prefer the pharmacies …