December 1, 2020

Sephora Opening Locations at Koh’s While Ulta Opens Ones at Target

Sephora will open hundreds of mini shops inside Kohl’s stores by next Fall. They expect to start opening these Sephora locations Kohl’s by Fall 2021 with 200 locations have Sephora located right in Kohl’s department stores and by 2023 they expect there to be over 850 stores open. Sephora will also launch on Kohl’s website next year as well.

As you know Ulta also recently announced they’ll open locations in Target.

Where will you shop?

Malls are a thing of the best and major chains are finding in increasingly harder to make money in larger malls. At some point I think malls will be complete eliminated and we’ll see more and more freestanding stores or no stores at all as chains completely migrate to online websites. For the record, I loved going to the mall! Still do before COVID that is but malls here in New York are a dead zone. They are rarely busy anymore and more and more stores are closing up.

As the beauty industry continues to grow chances need to be made so opening beauty stores without major department stores seems like just the thing to get more exposure. Sephora’s deal with JCPenny is obviously over and JCPenny isn’t doing so well so the Sephora is moving on from that relationship. Honestly, I never understood the JCPenny Sephora relationship at all to begin with. JCPenny is an inexpensive department store where as Sephora is more of a luxury store which makes their relationship a bit unusual.

Honestly, I find the deal between Ulta and Target much more exciting. I rarely shop at Kohl’s but I’m in Target like eight times a week. Kohl’s is doing great as shares have soared more than 14% early this morning. I don’t hate on Kohl’s! It’s actually a great store and I do tend to migrate towards buying items there from time to time but I do shop Target way more frequently.

The Sephora stores in Kohl’s will be about 2,500 square feet. These “stores” will replace the current Kohl’s beauty section and offer makeup application help and other services. I wonder if Kohl’s plans on eliminating some of their beauty exclusives with this deal. For example, Kohl’s carries a lot of different fragrances from Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez, and others! They also, have relationships with a variety of different brands that Sephora doesn’t carry! Will they completely remake Kohl’s beauty section and eliminate some of these brands and fragrances? I’m gonna throw it out there and say probably!

As with the currently beauty section the Sephora stores will be located at the front of Kohl’s stores. In some cases they’ll even have their own entrance and a new logo will be features outside stores to advertise Sephora is inside.

What do you think of the Sephora Kohl’s relationship?


About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Christina

    I know malls are less popular than they used to be, but prior to Covid–and I’d say even now!–the malls in my area are bustling. They even just finished a major expansion of one the malls, but I think my area is a bit unique. We have two very busy malls! I still go to the mall because I hate returning stuff in the mail and would rather just shop for my size in person to see what it looks like.

    I can’t say I’m excited about any of these moves. I don’t even know the last time I stepped foot inside a Kohls–I don’t even know where a store is located! Target is a good move, but I shop a lot of my brands from Sephora or Nordstrom and don’t usually buy drugstore or mid-range brands that Ulta carries. It doesn’t really affect me either way, but it’s nice to hear that the brands will be more accessible to people who don’t have freestanding stores or large malls near them.

    • Isabella Muse

      I LOVE the Mall! I just love walking around and being able to shop several stores at once plus grab a snack or a bite to eat even go to the movies after you shop. Malls are just awesome and no one can tell me different. Also, I’m like you it’s nice seeing something in person! Touching it, seeing the size, or with beauty swatching it or smelling a fragrance. It’s an entire experience! I’m an avid online shopper but you really aren’t getting the full experience with online shopping! I don’t shop Kohl’s either. On a rare occasion I’ll pop on their website for something but it’s rare. Ulta is too expensive for drugstore so that concerns me as Target has fairly good prices on drugstore makeup! I like the idea of Target/Ulta but there could be some downfalls to it as well!

      • Christina

        Oh, and I love wandering malls just to get some exercise in! LOL! I am an active person, so I don’t like sitting all day. Plus, if I walk more, I can eat more, right? Haha!

        • Isabella Muse

          girl girl girl! I’ve been pelotoning myself to death since the pandemic happened! I should be 90lbs by now but nope, still fluffy AF ;-D LOL!

      • MDW

        The US south needs malls for that reason. Too hot outdoors. The city I live in, in Europe, tries to keep malls at transport hubs. That guarantees a steady flow of traffic good for both store and customers.

  • Jay

    I find Ulta very underwhelming. I buy my drugstore products at Walmart even though they are terrible lol. I liked the Sephora inside JCP because they were more common in areas with more diverse incomes and smaller malls. Kohls are so spread out I’m not sure how this will add to their customer base, especially if Kohl’s cash is excluded. The Kohl’s website is already bloated. Idk I agree with the poster below, neither excites me lol.

  • Kimmwc03

    I’m still not over the eventual downfall of malls because I love the convenience of having so many places under one roof and many fond memories from childhood.

    I like Kohl’s but their beauty section could use an upgrade. They used to have it fully stocked with the Balm, Mally, Pur and fragrance but now it’s mostly clearance and some fragrance. I hope they open a Sephora at one of my local Kohl’s stores. Also, hope they can figure out a way to keep some of the fragrance that is hard to find anywhere else.

    • Isabella Muse

      I totally agreed. Malls just have feel good memories not to mention they are super convenient! Same here! Kohl’s beauty used to be nice but now it’s a wasteland of opened swatched up makeup! Looks like TJMaxx!

  • kjh

    Keep going with these industry posts, love ‘em. In 20-20 (not, eek, 2020) hindsight, the S-Kohls tie was a clear next move. Here, stores with outdoor entrances have far greater patronage.(That’s how the first wave of suburban malls were, in my area.) Both K and T dot the landscape pretty well South of Boston, though T has far more stores, in malls and freestanding. The move may consolidate some S stores. The closest S here is ~6 stores down from Kohl’s. Outdoor pseudo upscale mall. I see one major advantage to S partnering with Kohl’s, esp in the Covid/online delivery age. AT KOHL’S YOU GET FREE RETURNS ON AMAZON ITEMS. and that is effin brilliant. Massive increase in foot traffic.

    • Isabella Muse

      glad to hear it 😀 Actually amazon offers free shipping back on most items lately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Christina

      Adding to what I posted earlier about having bustling malls in my area, they actually just opened two new freestanding Sephora stores and one is coming to one of our popular outlet malls. I expected stores to be closing, not more to be opening up. I feel like Silicon Valley is its own bubble.

  • kimkats

    So – is sephora pulling out of JCP and moving to Kohl’s? I agree the JCP thing always seemed like an odd coupling,but I liked it b/c it was conveneint for me. Now we have a bona fide sephora store here (in a mall!) and a JCP sephora also, which predates the store by a good decade. There’s 2 Kohl’s stores here – wonder if they’ll both have a sephora in them?

    Ulta in Target – can’t say why, but it just doesn’t do anything for me… Guess I go to Ulta enough that I like the stand alone place (tho, oddly, its in the same mall as the new sephora – but it’s one of those stupid massive spread out you-have-to-walk-outside-from-store-to-store malls that have no business existing in the midwest, weatherwise) so – it’ll be interesting to see how each store fares in its respective new home. Wonder how much each will stock compared to the stand alone stores…

    Stay tuned for late breaking developments! 😀

    • Isabella Muse

      Will your JCP close? Most of the ones around here shut down! I dunno if both Kohl’s will get it but you can hope ;-D I don’t go to Ulta that often, I tend to shop it more online so inside Target may make me go more! ;-D LOL we’ll see how it pans out!

      • kimkats

        *so far* our JCP is still open. it’s pretty deserted, but its hard to say if its because of COVID or just general malaise about JCP…. 🙂

        Our Ulta is right next door to Trader Joe’s so I have a good excuse for going to either or both alla time! 😀 speaking of which, I need to make a TJ’s list here real soon… Need christmas cookies at least!

        • Isabella Muse

          the one here closed and another one at a mall is closing soon as well. We used to have one in another city not so far away from me which closed a while back ago. JCP is sort of a dying department store. OMG yes the peppermint chocolate chip ones right? Also, the spice market gift set! I need that!!!!!!!!! and Jingle Jangle! ;D They sold out of the Turkey and Stuffing Chips super fly fast this year 🙁

  • Dee

    I’m in Target once a week now. (used to be several times a week before covid!) so the Ulta/ Target has me much more excited. I like Kohls but don’t frequent it at all right now.

    • Isabella Muse

      I’m always at Target not as often now with COVID but I’m constantly in and out ;D

  • Daphne B

    Hi Isabella, hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I just went to my mailbox and could not believe it, I got the elusive 20% off postcard from Ulta! I could not wait to let you know, because I know there was much speculation that they would not do it this year. Did you get yours yet? It is good through Dec 24th, and is the one that is good for prestige brands. Also, very excited about the news that Sephora is going to Kohls, since J.C. Penneys will probably not be around for much longer. The malls in our area are not any fun anymore, either, so I will not miss them if they go. Sadly, crime seems to be increasing around many of these malls, and so many of the good stores have left, so it is probably for the best that many retailers find alternatives.

  • Susan K

    I love Target and Ulta and shop both online and in person frequently. Target a little more so. So this pairing makes perfect sense in my head and I’m excited. I venture into a Kohls store maybe once a year and make an online purchase about once a year also. The stores feel outdated and stale. I dont find their website easy to use or very good overall and the free ship minimum is so high! Kohls and Penneys seem the same to me so it feels like a lateral move for Sephora.

  • Mary B.

    Sephora can read the writing on the wall — JCPenney is barely hanging on and I expect it to declare bankruptcy AGAIN, this time for the last time. Being in Kohl’s will give Sephora more of a presence again, although we don’t have a Kohl’s… so much for that option. I prefer Ulta and am fine with their being in Target, although doubt it’ll happen where I live because the Target and the Ulta are already very close, in shopping centers across the street from each other.

  • Adrienne

    I agree with the comments and feel that both combinations were weird. Our malls are pretty much closed (prior to Covid) but somehow Saks and Nordstrom survived. Most of the JCP were closed and I rarely go in to JCP or the Sephora inside JCP. One mall has both Sephora and JCP Sephora I asked why duplicate and was told they don’t carry same items especially fragrance and you can’t return an item from one at another. I rarely go to Kohls as it doesn’t feel very trendy. Target I can take or leave since they added groceries I cant find regular sale items. Do you think thee additions/collaborations may have something to do with increasing credit card sales? Each store has a credit card but if you can use your JCP card in Sephora or Kohls in Ulta maybe it will boost sales? Or at the very least split the cost of leasing the retail space? That’s why a lot of store left the mall because they said the rental space was too costly compared to their profit. Everywhere we have a Target, Ulta is the strip mall within 2-3 doors down along with an Old Navy

    • Isabella Muse

      I don’t think it has to do with credit cards but the decline of beauty sales. Beauty sales have declined 15-17% the past few years so I think it’s a grab to target a different audience.

  • Cindy

    Roosevelt Field mall is STILL bustling! It was too crowded on BF with people waiting to get in even with COVID! (I haven’t been there since pre-COVID.) I don’t know why but people still flock to that place like crazy.

    As for the Sephora-Kohl’s deal, I find that weirder than the JC Penny setup. Sephora always tries to take this position that it’s a “luxury” store (please) and Kohl’s is hardly positioned as that. I just don’t see how they go together. Sephora at Saks or Bloomingdales or Neiman Marcus would make more sense, but I guess they want out of malls . . .

    • Isabella Muse

      AGREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED! I’ve worked with Sephora PR in the past and they always want to be portrayed as a luxury place. They don’t like the idea of being associated with cheap or inexpensive so why they set up at JCPenny has ALWAYS puzzled me and now at Kohl’s? Kohl’s is a nice store don’t get me wrong but not quite what Sephora is looking at in regards to Luxury. A better fit would def be somewhere like Saks or Nordstrom or NM!

      • MDW

        The Sephora here in Munich set up inside a fancy department store. They are gradually building up their stock. It was a way for the department store to compete with Europe’s Sephora equivalent, Douglas. But it is weird seeing Sephora in there and seeing the department store, Galeria Kaufhof’s regular cosmetics department.

        I like to get things from Sephora for my nieces because they don’t have a Sephora in their city.

  • CL

    Kohl’s is not terribly convenient to me, but I like the idea of Sephora there more than JCPenney.
    In my area the closest mall is about 10 miles away. We used to have closer malls. At least two of the malls failed more due to mismanagement than the public turning its back on them. A problem here (TX) for the malls is the cost of utilities – air-conditioning a huge amount of mostly empty walking areas is undoubtedly incredibly expensive. I do think that if they can keep malls alive through next year, there will be a huge resurgence in mall traffic, now that people realize what they have missed.

  • Chris

    Roosevelt Field Mall on LI, NY has been mildly busy. I was in a JCPenney about a month ago & I was uncomfortable there as I saw many masked but with their noses sticking out. I decided I would do online shopping there for now. The Sephora in that store was good as the Sephora store was on the other side of the mall. Not sure if having a Sephora in Kohl’s will entice me into that store to shop. I recently did an online Kohl’s order so there was no need to trek to every Kohl’s to get these items.

    • Isabella Muse

      I rage at people wearing masks down around their nose or on their neck! Put the damn thing on!

    • MDW

      The JCP where I worked bare used their A/C. I swear they had money troubles since back in the 80’s!

  • Mel

    I think it’s interesting, but I don’t know if it will happen where I live. Ulta and Target share the same parking lot and within walking distance.
    Sephora is in what is left of the mall across the street, but if that mall goes under they might move across the street too. I think it will ultimately bring more business to all the stores involved though!