Sephora moving its J.C. Penney stores into Kohl’s, execs say

Courtesy: Sephora

HARLINGEN — Beauty seller Sephora, which managed to thrive with its store-within-a-store concept even as J.C. Penney was driven to bankruptcy, has announced it is moving operations from J.C. Penney to Kohl’s.

The first 200 locations will open in fall 2021 and a total of at least 850 Sephora outlets will find a new home at Kohl’s.

There are four Sephora locations in the Valley located inside a Penney store — Brownsville’s Sunrise Mall, Harlingen’s Valle Vista, Weslaco’s Valley Crossing Shopping Center and Shops at the Rio Grande in Edinburg.

A fifth location is a stand-alone Sephora at McAllen’s La Plaza Mall.

Sephora is regarded as more of an upscale retailer when compared to Penney’s offerings, and the value of the beauty stores inside Penney locations was it brought a different type of customer through the door.

Sephora is the largest specialty beauty retailer in the world, and the new “Sephora at Kohl’s” will consist of a 2,500-square-foot space located near the front of Kohl’s stores, according to Michelle Gass, Kohl’s chief executive officer.

“The Kohl’s and Sephora partnership will bring a transformational, elevated beauty experience to Kohl’s from the top global name in beauty,” Gass said. “ … Today’s announcement is a perfect illustration of the bold moves we are making at Kohl’s to accelerate our growth and reimagine our future for the next era of retail.”

“Great brands are always looking for new ways to serve their customers and innovate, even in dynamic times,” said Martin Brok, president and CEO of Sephora. “With Kohl’s we will be able to bring Sephora closer to where our customers want us to be …”

Company executives said Sephora products will replace Kohl’s current in-store beauty merchandise.