Retail

Sephora’s High-Tech Chicago Outpost

Sephora is expanding its Beauty TIP Workshop store format to Chicago — with some fancy new high tech flourishes added. The beauty brand currently has similar locations in Boston, San Francisco and Toronto.

The stores feature a centrally located table with chairs, vanities and iPad stations — and they are built around the idea of creating retail spaces that are dual-purpose play zones for adults and education centers. How much could there possibly be to learn? Considering that the new Chicago location features some 13,000 products to play with in their interactive environment — actually a lot.

Luckily, users can take group classes on beauty topics while sitting in stations equipped with the relevant products, iPads, USB ports and Wi-Fi. There is also professional intervention as an option — makeovers are available in a 14-seat “Beauty Studio” that features the Sephora’s first take-home tool: an interactive face chart that logs which services the shopper received. That chart also logs the product and application tips — and it is helpfully sent to customers directly via email. Customers can also get a customer-engraved perfume bottle (and a scent profile all their own) at the “Fragrance IQ” station or grab a mini-facial in “The Skincare Studio.”

As for additional digital flourishes, the store features digital signage and enhanced lighting (as there is nothing like bright lights to convince anyone that they need make-up) and a larger checkout area. The store will also feature mobile POS stations and directly shoppable features that will allow users to scan and go with their devices.

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