Business

Sephora withdraws from Taiwan

Sephora stopped its operations in Taiwan on May 11, refocusing on more stable Asian markets. With a global network of 3 000 stores, the chain is readjusting its positioning and generating an estimated 10 billion euros in sales.

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto22 mai 2023

Currently, Sephora generates an estimated revenue of 10 billion euros (Shutterstock)

The Sephora group, owned by luxury giant LVMH, has ceased operations in Taiwan, an island currently under heavy diplomatic pressure from the Chinese government. Despite a somewhat vague start and cautious communication, Bernard Arnault's company finally confirmed that as of May 11, it has stopped operating the Sephora brand app and website in Taiwan.

The group spokesperson, however, emphasized the importance of the brand's business in Taiwan and the influence of that market on the brand's marketing strategy in Asia. "We have learned a lot about the dynamic Taiwanese beauty sector, and we believe we can leverage this knowledge to improve our offering globally in Asia. Sephora continues to have a presence in 11 Asian markets through nearly 400 outlets," LVMH said in a press release.

Although the termination of operations in Taiwan is now a reality, the exact reasons for this have yet to be defined. Some have referred to the "test and learn" strategy often employed by LVMH: the group introduces several of its brands into a market to test their viability, and if the results are not as expected, the worst-performing brands are withdrawn.

Like many other brands, Sephora considers the global geopolitical dynamics that influence market fluctuations. For example, the brand recently returned to the UK market, opening a department store in London's Westfield White City after leaving in 2005 due to intense competition from local brands. Brexit delayed its return, but Sephora's new brand awareness and market research, highlighting British customers' growing interest in foreign beauty brands, justified its return in March 2023.

Jenny Cheah (former director of Bulgari) has been appointed as the new general manager of the South East Asia, Oceania, and South Korea zone.

With its 3 000 stores worldwide, Sephora generates an estimated revenue of 10 billion euros.

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