Stop writing obituaries for traditional brick-and-mortar chains blaming their failure on the internet. The reality is much more complex and a number of retailers have shown that physical stores are an important part of an overall strategy -- and LVMH's (OTC:LVMHF) (OTC:LVMUY) Sephora has been a model company in that sense.
Sephora has been adding brick-and-mortar locations and it plans to do so at a faster pace in 2020. It plans to open 100 new locations in 2020 -- its largest expansion in North America in its history.
What is Sephora doing?
The company believes that it's important for consumers to see its products in stores. That means picking and choosing where it opens new locations. The 100 new stores -- double the number that opened in 2019 -- "will open in locations where clients live and work including street and local centers as well as a mix of new and established shopping centers, with the primary focus being on ease and convenience for all clients," according to a press release.
"As we look at ways to continue to be more inclusive and accessible, brick & mortar continues to be a huge opportunity for us to deepen emotional connections with our clients and local communities," said CEO Jean André Rougeotin a press release. "It's through our interactive store environment, our best-in-class educational tools and services and incredible engagements with our Beauty Advisors that we are able to best service and inspire clients on their beauty journey."
What does this mean for retail?
Well-run retailers have an omnichannel model that includes smart brick-and-mortar expansion. Sephora isn't opening in every mall. It's going to put stores in the locations that make the most impact. That's a model that other retailers should follow. Go where your customers already are, offer top-notch service, and back that up with a full suite of digital services.