Sephora goes high-tech in Chicago

(Author : Marianne Wilson)
Sephora has brought its tech-savvy Beauty TIP Workshop store format to Michigan Avenue in Chicago, complete with some new flourishes.

At 10,040 sq. ft., the new store is the beauty giant’s 400th freestanding location in North America, and only the fourth here to feature the TIP (teach, inspire, play) format. The other locations are Powell St., San Francisco; Prudential Center, Boston; and Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto.
Sephora Michigan Avenue features more than 13,000 products and an interactive environment that includes a wide array of services and classes.
The heart of the store is a long, sleek table, complete with chairs, vanities and iPad stations that acts as a central workstation where customers can take group classes on beauty topics. Each station is equipped with its own product, iPad, USB port and Wi-Fi, so shoppers can play, browse and share looks on the digital screen and online, right from their seat.
Shoppers can get one-on-one makeovers from trained makeup artists in the store’s 14-seat “Beauty Studio,” which will feature the debut of Sephora’s first digital take-home tool, an interactive face chart that is a record of the specific service the shopper received combined with customized product and application tips. It is delivered directly to the customer via email.
The studio area also has large stations with touchscreens that offer foundation, lip and concealer shade matching, and new mirror and canopy lighting fixtures for maximum light exposure.
The new location is the first Sephora to offer a “Fragrance IQ” station, which allows customers to browse 18 scent families through an innovative, dry air delivery system called InstaScent. The store also offers complimentary engraving of perfume bottles.
In addition, Sephora Michigan Avenue is one of the first stores in the chain’s fleet to feature “The Skincare Studio,” complete with a working sink and four well-lit seated stations where shoppers can indulge in the retailer’s mini facial service. A touch-screen station provides instant access to Sephora’s exclusive skincare IQ diagnostic, which helps helping customers determine the best products based on their skin concerns.

Digital signage is used throughout the store, which is also outfitted with improved lighting, a larger cash wrap, additional mobile POS stations, easier-to-shop fixtures, enhanced gifting stations, and more impactful brand imagery.

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