Leveraging the pocket power of its relatively new parent company, the multi-billion Euro luxury group, LVHM, Sephora ventured into the North American market in 1998 and has since opened 80 retail outlets in the US. The group has 400 shops spread across nine European countries selling premium cosmetic and personal care products.
The Toronto plan comes as Sephora gears up for a more aggressive expansion in that region. Having launched eight new stores last year, Sephora plans to open a further 15 stores in the US.
The shop planned for Toronto is to be located in the city's land mark shopping centre, Toronto Eaton Centre on a 5100 square-foot trading floor. A roll out of more Canadian stores is on the cards.
"We will concentrate our initial efforts on Toronto before moving into other major metropolitan areas across the country," said Sephora's head of North American operations, David Suliteanu.
Sephora's outlets standout from traditional cosmetic retailers because of their emphasis on aesthetics backed up by a knowledgeable sales force designed to offer the consumer a unique and value added shopping experience.
"The positive feedback from our online Canadian clients over the past 10 months exceeded our expectations, thereby accelerating Sephora's plan to establish a retail presence on the ground in Canada," said Suliteanu.
"The success Sephora has already achieved in nine countries across Europe and in the US demonstrates that the concept with its distinctive design, range of brands, and open-sell model is adaptable to local markets and appeals to a broad demographic," said Suliteanu.
The European market still offers some enormous growth opportunity for the group particularly the eastern parts of the continent where it has little presence. It debuted in Moscow in December last year through forming a partnership with an established local brand name.
This was part of a broad European expansion, which delivered a total roll out of 14 stores last year. The Polish portfolio was boosted with seven new stores to a total of 41. Up to 20 new stores are planned for Europe.
Sephora's expansion coincides with the marked pick up of the global health and beauty market on the back of rising disposable incomes particularly in major markets such as North America, Western Europe and certain parts of Asia. The global market is estimated at €191 billion and growing fast.