Who owns Sephora?

Who owns Sephora?

Who owns Sephora? Sephora is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which is a luxury goods conglomerate. LVMH owns several other brands that are organized into various divisions. Sephora brand, in particular, is organized under the “perfumes and cosmetics” division of LVMH. The LVMH conglomerate is currently being led by Bernard Arnault, who is the CEO and chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Brief History of Sephora

Dominique Mandonnaud founded Sephora in 1970. He opened the first Sephora store in Limoges, France. Dominique Mandonnaud wanted his beauty store to be different from the traditional ones, as he was dissatisfied with the way traditional stores focus only on sales. He designed Sephora to offer personalized experiences to customers. He was able to achieve the aim by organizing his products by category instead of by brand. Also, he hired beauty advisors to advise customers and provide recommendations when necessary. He even allowed customers to test products before they bought them to let customers see how the products felt and looked on them. Sephora started expanding in the 1990s. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired Sephora in 1997. LVMH provided large financial resources to help Sephora grow internationally after the acquisition.  In 1998, Sephora opened its flagship store in New York City. The company soon began to acquire a number of smaller chains in foreign countries to expand as quickly as possible. 

Sephora has now grown into a reputable company operating over 2600 stores in 38 countries across the world. To date, Sephora specializes in the sales of beauty products like cosmetics, fragrances, and skincare products. However, unlike in its early days, the company now has a strong online presence. Hence, customers don’t usually walk into Sephora stores to learn about beauty products anymore. Instead, they check Sephora’s website to learn about various beauty products. The company tries its best to enhance the online shopping experience. For instance, Sephora invested well in technologies like augmented reality and artificial intelligence so that its online customers can enjoy experiences very similar to the ones they get from physical Sephora stores.

Brief History of Dominique Mandonnaud

Dominique Mandonnaud is a French entrepreneur born in 1951 in Marseille, France. His family operated a chain of perfumeries while he was growing up. He worked for his family business at a young age, and that was when he developed an interest in fashion stores. He was able to expand Sephora’s business considerably after he founded it in 1970. His unique approach that focuses on personalized customer experience has had an impact on the industry to date. Dominique Mandonnaud is credited with revolutionizing how beauty products are marketed and sold.

Brief History of Bernard Arnault 

Bernard Arnault, the CEO and chairman of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is a key figure regarding Sephora’s ownership. In 1989, he became the majority owner of LVMH Moët Hennessy. Bernard Arnault was born in Roubaix, France, in 1949. He studied engineering at  the École Polytechnique in Paris. He started his career as an engineer in his father’s construction firm, Ferret-Savinel. Furthermore, he eventually became chairman of the construction firm and renamed the company to Férinel Inc, shifting the company’s focus to real estate. Bernard Arnault started acquiring some French luxury brands in the 1980s. In 1987, Henri Racamier, the chairman of LVMH, invited Bernard Arnault to invest in LVMH, which he did. In 1989, he was able to increase his investment further to become the majority owner and chairman of LVMH. 

Impact of LVMH Ownership on Sephora

Boosts Sephora’s Reputation

The brand value of Sephora has increased greatly ever since LVMH acquired it. Sephora now enjoys LVMH’s luxury image. The boosted Sephora’s reputation has helped the brand to build trust among its customers and stand out among its competitors.

Provision of Larger Resources

LVMH provides both financial and non-financial resources to Sephora. These resources have helped Sephora grow bigger and serve its customers better. For instance, Sephora now has access to various in-store technologies to operate more efficiently. The company also has abundant financial resources to carry out research and product development.

Provision of Luxury brands

LVMH has lots of luxury brands under its portfolio. Sephora has access to all those luxury brands. Such easy access to lots of luxury brands differentiates Sephora from its competitors. Sephora’s customers can confidently walk into any Sephora store when they need products from luxury brands like Christian Dior, Fendi Givenchy, and lots more.

Provision of Marketing Support

LVMH has an outstanding wealth of marketing experience. LVMH’s team of marketing professionals provides support and guidance to Sephora when necessary. Also, LVMH cross-promotes Sephora with the other luxury brands under its management. These practices have helped Sephora create a very broad awareness.

Favorable Collaborations

LVMH helps Sephora secure favorable collaboration and partnership deals. For instance, LVMH once helped Sephora secure a partnership deal with Huda Beauty. At that time, newly launched products of Huda Beauty were available only at Sephora, driving lots of traffic to Sephora’s stores. LVMH’s relationship with top companies and its team of experienced negotiators are extremely instrumental to Sephora while seeking collaborations.

Who Controls Sephora?

Although LVMH owns Sephora, LVMH exerts only a small level of control over Sephora’s operation. Sephora operates as a separate entity, having its own management team and board of directors. The Sephora board of directors oversees the company’s operation, so LVMH doesn’t really do too many overseeing roles. However, a few representatives of LVMH are part of Sephora’s board of directors.


Sephora is one of the largest beauty retailers worldwide, and it is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, though it operates independently, having its own board of directors. LVMH’s ownership of Sephora is a mutually beneficial arrangement for both Sephora and LVMH. The ownership has helped Sephora expand internationally to the level where it is today. 



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