The 426m² Raffles City store is breaking new ground in the beauty sector, which has been hit hard during the pandemic.
Even after Covid-19 restrictions eased, brick-and-mortar retail was impacted by the lack of makeup testers and in-store interactions.
“Crisis management has been a big part of my life,” Ms. Gogi says dryly. The Briton, who took up the role in July 2020, oversees Sephora Asia’s 11 markets, which include Singapore, Greater China, India and New Zealand.
“But we were fortunate, before Covid-19, to have invested in digital capabilities and our ecosystem – website, mobile app and stores – to continue to meet consumers’ beauty needs.”
The Sephora success story is one that many are trying to replicate. The subsidiary of French luxury group LVMH was founded in 1969 and revolutionized the beauty retail landscape, pioneering the try-before-you-buy concept for cosmetics and introducing hard-to-find cult brands to the market in department stores.
Its first flagship store in Singapore landed in 2008 at Takashimaya Mall. In 2015, Sephora acquired online beauty retailer Luxola as part of the transformation of its Southeast Asian e-commerce business (sephora.sg) – a move that Gogi says puts Sephora in the lead. good position for its omnichannel capabilities today.
“It allowed us to access consumers online in a very disruptive way and created an omnichannel and digital mindset among our team members,” she says.
“When we think about a new product launch today, it’s all about ‘how is it going to show up online?’ That wasn’t necessarily the case eight years ago, when we were just one chain, and it was mostly ‘what’s it going to look like in stores?’ »
Prestige beauty has an added “image and aspiration” feel to fast-moving consumer goods, she adds.
Before joining LVMH as senior vice president of merchandising for Sephora China in 2011, she spent more than nine years in China as chief commercial officer for health and beauty retailer AS Watson Group, which owns the chain. of Watsons pharmacies.
“Mass is about being approachable with a lot of operational experience. When we talk about prestige, it’s a much more ambitious approach to how beauty is perceived. You start building a brand. Sephora, as a multi-brand retailer, is a brand — it has authority,” she says.