THE WHAT? Sephora has revamped its approach to selling fragrances in response to increased store thefts. The company has removed all boxed fragrances from its shelves, now only displaying tester bottles. Customers interested in purchasing a fragrance must request it from store staff, a significant change from the previous self-service model.
THE DETAILS Previously, Sephora’s store layout allowed customers to freely test fragrances and then pick an unopened product from the shelf for purchase. This open-access approach was part of Sephora’s innovative retail strategy. However, the rise in thefts, particularly of high-value items like fragrances, has forced the company to lock away these products. Sephora has implemented this change across its U.S. stores and increased its loss prevention efforts, including hiring more staff to prevent theft.
THE WHY? This shift in Sephora’s retail strategy is a reaction to the growing issue of organised retail crime, where groups steal products to resell them in secondary markets. The change is not just a loss prevention measure but also a response to a wider trend in retail where stores are locking up various items due to increased theft. This new approach might impact customer experience and convenience, which were key aspects of Sephora’s original store model. The decision reflects a larger dilemma faced by retailers: balancing the need for security with maintaining a positive shopping experience.