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Sephora and Feelunique deal to help fuel UK beauty rebound

Gaelle Walker
26 July 2021

News of Sephora’s acquisition of online beauty retailer Feelunique comes at a key time for the UK beauty market - with sales of prestige makeup and fragrance products expected to soar over the coming months as consumers re-embrace social occasions and return to the workplace.

Confirming the acquisition, Sephora President and Chief Executive Martin Brok said: “The transaction is a key step in Sephora’s European growth strategy and marks a first step for Sephora’s presence into the United Kingdom, one of the top 10 biggest Prestige Beauty markets worldwide, with a very high level of digital adoption.

“UK consumers have a strong appetite for a carefully curated Prestige Beauty offer that is tailored to their needs, and provided through a consumer-centric, seamless experience”.

Sarah Miles, CEO of Feelunique, added: “Sephora is an iconic retailer in the Prestige Beauty space in Europe. We are looking forward to working together and leverage our respective strengths to drive the Prestige beauty segment in the UK”.

The news comes as sales of Prestige beauty products in the UK start to rebound, following a 24% decline in 2020 due to Covid-19 restrictions.

New data from The NPD Group also reveals that 61% of consumers plan to return to their usual pre-pandemic make-up routines as restrictions continue to ease.

Last year, 60% of makeup users had reported they were wearing less makeup.

The past year has also sparked a significant rise in online makeup sales with 20% of makeup consumers having purchased products via social media sites in particular.

Sales of lipstick have already boomed in recent months, with sales having nearly doubled between April and June 2021, vs the same period last year, according to new shopping data from Clearpay.

Eyeshadow sales also experienced a similar hike, up 20% between April and June 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

On average women spent £200 between April and June 2021, up 21% on the same period last year whole men spent just over 9% more.

Sephora’s acquisition of a majority stake in Feelunique from Palamon Capital Partners and other shareholders, is expected to complete during the second half of 2022.

Founded in 2005, Feelunique is one of the UK's fastest-growing Prestige Beauty e-commerce retailers.

Since its debut in France over 50 years ago, Sephora has become an omnichannel beauty trailblazer in 35 countries, with an ever-changing array of carefully curated brand partners, from classic selective brands to exclusive independent ones.

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