One of the questions I am most asked by other bloggers is whether Sephora is ever going to come back to the UK. So, I picked up some Sephora gossip while I was at Cosmoprof in Bologna, but do have to point out it is just gossip - I don't have proof one way or the other.
One thread of conversation revealed that a rumour last year that Sephora was going to launch into M&S stores was actually true, as unlikely as it sounds. Even though I checked and checked with M&S, nobody seemed to know anything about it, but I had it on good authority it was definitely a plan that was pulled at the last minute.
In another conversation, I was told that Sephora are 'looking for premises' in the UK.
Yet another conversation revealed that the reason they pulled out in the first place was because rent in the UK was too expensive for their stores. I'd dispute that; I'm just not sure we were ready for the concept but we are now. They also put stores in out of town shopping centres instead of investing in a flagship store on Regent Street or Oxford Street. When you consider how people actually queue to get into the Champs Elysee one (and it is HUGE), I can't help but wonder why they didn't think the same pattern wouldn't work here. Shoving stores out in Bluewater, Kent, for example was never going to work out.
I might also tell you that I have made a point to email Sephora (France) every week (so far for 3 weeks, but I'll keep doing it) with the same email asking exactly the same questions (i.e. do they have plans to return to the UK?) and so far they've not even had the courtesy to respond to the email. Folks, what can I tell you? I'm trying.