LONDON – The race is catching on to a piece of the lucrative UK beauty market.
As Harrods rolls out of stand-alone beauty stores across the country and Boots updates its offering and renovates stores there, Sephora wants to get new roads in the region.
According to The Sunday Times in London, Sephora has agreed to buy Feelunique.com in a deal valued at £ 132 million. A report is expected to be revealed in the coming week, according to the report.
Spokesmen for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Sephora’s owner and Feelunique.com did not return requests for comment at press time.
Sephora has long been locked out of the UK market due to Boots’ dominance. In addition, Sephora no longer supplies products to the UK due to taxes resulting from Brexit
The beauty giant has also pushed further into the online space.
As reported last month, Sephora signed a long-term strategic partnership with Zalando to create a prestigious online beauty experience starting in Germany in the fourth quarter of this year.
A sale has long come for Feelunique. In late 2018, Feelunique’s owners, private equity firm Palamon Capital Partners, canceled a new sale after bidders did not match the site’s £ 200m valuation.
Not long after, Joël Palix, the brand’s longtime CEO, left the company and was succeeded by Sarah Miles. She joined Amazon Inc., where she had worked as an EU marketer and new business director at Amazon Fashion.
Foundunique was established in 2005 and transports more than 35,000 products from 800 brands through its retail and marketing channels.
It offers beauty, makeup, skin care, hair care, fragrance, accessories, devices and sexual wellness product categories. The company ships to more than 120 countries and boasts dedicated websites in countries including France, Germany, Norway, China, elsewhere in the EU and US.
According to the company’s website, it has 1.3 million active customers and ships more than 18,000 products every day. In the UK, Lookfantastic.com is one of its direct competitors owned by The Hut Group.
The majority of Feelunique’s sales come from Generation Z consumers and Millennials under the age of 35.
The company said in 2020 that it achieved “record levels” of sales and customer acquisition figures. Revenue is thought to be close to £ 120 million.
The beauty market is bubbling in the UK, where giant giants – and not just Harrods – want to seek out the British beauty customer.
Last year, Boohoo bought the defunct Debenhams and said it plans to take advantage of the department store’s brand relationships and cultivate its loyal clientele.
Boohoo and its rival Asos undoubtedly see the success that the British fashion and lifestyle giant Next has had in the sector.
In 2019, Next acquired the online premium beauty and wellness retailer Fabled by Marie Claire of the Ocado Group and began rolling out physical beauty and home concept stores in the UK to house the hundreds of brands it carries.
Then there is Amazon, which has built premium beauty brands, including RéVive Skincare and Clé de Peau, in its new Amazon Luxury Stores offering.