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Sephora, Kohl's partnership shows early signs of success

A new study by Placer.AI showed an increase in customers at Kohl's locations with Sephora shop-in-shops inside as the makeup retailer replaces the beauty department in 200 Kohl's locations by the fall.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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A new study shows the Sephora partnership at the Kohl's locations, which includes own brands and exclusive products, is driving foot traffic. A new study from showed that the recent partnership between the makeup brand and department store has led to an increase in foot traffic at Kohl’s locations with Sephoras inside compared to stores without.

Announced last December, the partnership between the two companies allowed Sephora to replace the beauty department at select Kohl’s locations. The nationwide partnership prepared 200 Kohl’s locations to feature Sephoras by fall, and 850 by 2023. The first four installments opened in early August, and 73 more followed on August 20. analyzed foot traffic data from those Kohl’s and compared them to Sephora-less stores to see if there was a notable difference. While there isn’t a large amount of data yet, the partnership appears to show that more people are shopping at Kohl’s with Sephora shops inside.

“Using weekly visits for the week of July 5th as a baseline, we compared the average performance of the 1000+ Kohl’s locations in the United States to the performance of the first four Sephora at Kohl’s locations that opened on Friday, August 6th,” Placer.AI said in the report. “The Sephora at Kohl’s opened near the end of the week beginning August 2nd and the impact was not felt immediately, though weather did play a role. But, beginning with the week of August 16th, ten days after the launch, Sephora at Kohl’s locations began outperforming Kohl’s nationwide average.”

For the weeks beginning August 16, 23 and 30, the four Sephora at Kohl’s locations averaged a 28.3%, 39.6%, and 12.5% increase in visits, respectively, when compared to the July 5 baseline. Comparatively, visits to legacy Kohl’s increased only 22.6% and 7.2% between August 16 to 22 and August 23 to 29, respectively, and decreased by -3.5% the week of August 30th when compared to the same baseline of the week of July 5th.”

The Placer.AI report showed that customers stay longer at the newly revamped Kohl’s locations as well. Visit duration is also up at stores featuring a Sephora at Kohl’s location. At three out of the four Sephora-equipped stores, durations “increased significantly,” says.

Finally, the data shows that Sephora at Kohl’s stores are also seeing customers come in from further distances. One example from the report says that the TTA (True Trade Area) of the Sterling Heights, Michigan Kohl’s grew from 75.1 sq. miles to 96.7 sq. miles.