Sephora has announced Covid-19-related news -- the retailer will begin a phased reopening on May 22 of 70 stores across 13 states in the U.S.
The stores opening first are in Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Georgia, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona and Alabama.
Ulta already announced that 180 stores across 7 states reopened on May 11.
Photo above is a screenshot via Twitter/Sephora
How will they do it?
The retailer says it has spent the last nine weeks developing the Sephora Health & Hygiene safety standards, which focus on creating a welcoming in-store experience that protects employees and shoppers.
There will be one major change -- all in-store testers and samplers are being removed. See more on this in the guidelines below.
Jean-André Rougeot, president and CEO of Sephora Americas says, “While the retail environment will feel different and many factors will remain out of our hands, we’ve learned to embrace what we can control."
Rougeot continues, “As we gradually reopen our stores over the next few months, we have taken great care in how we welcome back our employees and our clients...We will follow guidance from the CDC, government and health authorities in tandem with extensive supplemental safety measures, to formalize our new Sephora Health & Hygiene Guidelines, that safeguard the instore shopping experience.”
Sephora first announced it was closing its stores on March 17, stating, "...we are in a position to support the collective fight against COVID-19. Following guidance from public health authorities, we understand that practicing social distancing and reducing dense public gatherings as much as possible is critically important...This is truly a global effort that requires all of our participation."
The New Sephora Health & Hygiene Guidelines
The newly developed Sephora Health & Hygiene Guidelines include 48 safety procedures and extensive employee training. See some of them in the image below. The guidelines include:
- Social Distancing & Capacity: Restricted capacity will be enforced by a greeter and line coordinators in stores will ensure adequate space, while guiding clients through the store. Six-foot markers will be placed at lines in front of registers and store entrances. Store aisles will be designated for traffic in one direction as locally mandated.
- Deep Cleaning & Enhanced Hygiene Measures: Prior to reopening, all stores will receive a deep cleaning and will be equipped with hygiene supplies and hand sanitizer. Cleaning will be constant throughout the day.
- Testers & Services: Testers are now for display only and in-store services are suspended until further notice. Beauty Advisors will be in-store to assist, and shoppers have access to a suite of virtual tools, including Virtual Artist, to aid in product selection.
- Face Masks: All employees will wear face masks and Sephora will provide disposable masks for clients to wear in-store. In some locations, face coverings will be mandated, according to regional guidelines.
- Temperature Checks: Sephora will take all store employees’ temperatures at the beginning and in the middle of each shift.
- Returns: Sephora has extended its return policy and will be accepting returns with receipts for all purchases made just prior to and during the shutdown for 30 days after store opening. All products returned will be destroyed until further notice.
- Point of Sale: We will be closing every other register and encourage clients to use contactless payment options. All payment screens will be sanitized before and after every transaction, baskets and bags will be sanitized, and plexiglass screens will be implemented in all stores.
- Staff Hygiene Training: Each store has designated a Hygiene Leader who will oversee Sephora’s new Health & Hygiene Guidelines at all points of the shopping experience.
Sephora has implemented the Project Care Package. More than 350,000 beauty products were donated to 65,000-plus frontline health care workers and those impacted by domestic violence in our communities across the U.S.
To further support frontline heroes, Sephora will be offering a 10% discount in-store on all purchases for Healthcare Workers and Emergency Responders with a current ID.
In June, Sephora stores will sell washable cloth face masks for $10, with 50% of proceeds benefiting the Stronger Together Fund through Tides.
For stores that are not yet open, Sephora will continue to pay store employees and provide their benefits until they are able to welcome back clients to their stores.
Rougeot adds, continued, “Although many things in retail have changed, some things remain the same--our passion for the joy of beauty, our desire to welcome all, and our focus on the client.”