Hundreds queue up for Sephora store opening

Source: Sephora New Zealand Instagram.

After much anticipation, Sephora’s first New Zealand store opened last weekend on Queen Street in Auckland, with hundreds of Kiwis lining up for the launch.

Many would-be beauty-buyers camped out overnight to ensure they were the first into the store, which officially opened at 7am on Saturday, July 20.

Sephora spent an estimated $5 million to fit out the store, which was announced in early May after months of speculation. 

The launch is part of a larger expansion into the Asia-Pacific region, which will see the make-up retailer set up shop in Hong Kong and Korea.

“We believe that New Zealand will be a key market in building Sephora as the most loved beauty community in Asia, and the world,” said president of Sephora Asia Benjamin Vuchot.

“This expansion to a new market will allow Sephora to continue to amplify global beauty trends locally, elevate what our clients expect of the in-store experience and bring fresh, digital touch points to the retail environment to create a virtual, client-centric cycle.”

In the lead-up to launch, Sephora toured the country in a “Beauty Bus”, giving remote customers a chance to trial its products before the local offering officially went online.

However, not everyone was pleased with the launch. The New Zealand Maori Council called for the Government to investigate the cosmetics company after they were “caught dumping hundreds and thousands of waste paper products embedded with cosmetic chemicals down the drains”.

“And all, according to a spokesperson for Sephora New Zealand, with the permission of the Auckland Council,” New Zealand Maori Council executive director Matthew Tukaki said. 

“As Maori we consider ourselves as protectors of our whenua and our water ways and I will be damned if I am going to standby and allow Auckland City Council to grant a license for this company to dump their waste directly into our system.”

A Sephora spokeswoman told the NZHerald the confetti the company used was biodegradable, water soluble and plant based, and was cleared with the Council prior to use. 

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