Napoleon Perdis Slams Sephora

The international retail giant might be making some brands shake in their boots, but Australian makeup maestro, Napoleon Perdis, isn’t rattled by Sephora’s new Sydney flagship store, which he says hasn’t lived up to its promises, writes Nadia Stennett.

Perdis says he doesn’t expect Sephora to survive.

There were audible whimpers across the beauty community when cosmetic retail powerhouse Sephora opened its doors in Sydney’s prestigious Pitt Street shopping district.

It was a momentous occasion in beauty retail history, marked by a long and tension-fraught lead-up with a controversial marketing mishap along the way (an attention-grabbing missing ‘o’ in the word ‘count’ in its social media hashtag campaign, #countdowntobeauty); and with consumer anticipation on par with the iPhone launch, it had many retailers wondering how they’d be impacted.

But not makeup king, Napoleon Perdis. Despite a difficult trading environment (consumer spending is still below average) and tough new competition, Perdis says he was quietly confident during Sephora’s Australian launch.

“We have felt nothing from Sephora. And we didn’t expect to. In the malls, we have our own stores, which index very highly with millennials, and Sephora is largely a millennial customer base,” Perdis told The Australian during his Sydney visit last week.

I would be surprised if in the long term, that Sephora is still around.

And he had some grounds to base that assertion on. The brand’s stores have posted three per cent sales growth for the year to date, with continued expansion, including the recent unveiling of the first Napoleon Perdis concept store, Life.Style boutique, a revolutionary mix of lifestyle and makeup retail products in a luxe store fit-out.

But it’s not just the brand’s loyal millennial customer base that Perdis asserts has set it apart from Sephora, arguing its price points have been a point of dissapointment for Australian consumers.

“They haven’t lived up to promises…They were never going to be able to compete with getting exact US prices because there is currency exchange,” Perdis told The Australian, going further to speculate the much-hyped store would not withstand the current local trading climate.

“I’ve seen Sephora as a non-event, and I would be surprised if, in the long term, Sephora is still around.”

Have your say: Has your business been impacted by Sephora? Do you agree or disagree with Napoleon Perdis’s views?


2 thoughts on “Napoleon Perdis Slams Sephora

  1. seriously are we living
    under a rock here in OZ?… napoleon was selling at sephora in the USA a few
    years back… and now these comments
    …. and you dont voluntarily leave sephora as a brand… they tell you your
    time is up and thanks for shopping…. so be a little bit gracious in
    your comments…. and hey sephora is owned by LVHM so i think a multi billion
    $$$ corp will outlast a man with nasty comments…. time to be nice Napoleon!!!

  2. I’ve never been seduced by Napoleon Perdis’ products in the past, however, I’m loving his recent commentary on the current state of the beauty industry (informing previously that he’s over celebrities – focusing his brand on consumers instead) and I’m loving that he’s backing his brand. He’s got my attention – that’s for sure.

    There’s no doubt that Sephora disappointed so many Australians with their pledge to ‘match’ US prices and a string of other disappointments upon lauch. Sephora hasn’t turned out as all that it was hyped up to be.

    Competition in the market is definitely a healthy thing, but Sephora has some way to go before they reach that ‘wow’ factor they were aiming for – not to mention re-gain some of that respect from Australian consumers that was lost upon launch.

    I’d be surprised if Sephora has had much impact at this point.

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