Artemis Patrick, Sephora North America New CEO, on Plans for Retailer

Artemis Patrick, Sephora North America New CEO, on Plans for Retailer

“It’s a change, however it additionally seems like residence,” stated Sephora North America president Artemis Patrick of her April 1 appointment as the primary girl chief govt officer to steer the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned retailer, in an unique interview with WWD.

Dressed in a protracted flowing navy costume paired together with her signature cowboy boots, Patrick, an 18-year Sephora veteran usually referred to in trade circles because the model whisperer, was in New York City with a packed schedule that included accepting the Catalyst Award on Sephora’s behalf, attending the Women’s Leadership Network capstone occasion for the Estée Lauder Cos. and visiting three potential websites for new Sephora shops.

The tempo is the norm for Patrick, who relies in San Francisco the place Sephora North America is headquartered. In the run-up to her CEO appointment, she has shadowed present CEO Jean-André Rougeot for three months, and for the final three months, Rougeot, who’s retiring, shadowed Patrick.

Jean-André Rougeot

Courtesy of Jean-André Rougeot

“The degree of shock will not be tremendous excessive,” she stated of the training curve as she transitions from world chief merchandising officer to president, North America, and shortly the twin title of CEO. “It’s extra across the studying of and leaning into the capabilities that I’m frankly much less aware of. For instance, the provision chain. A few weeks in the past I went to Vegas to go to our distribution heart and I’m going to Utah. These distribution facilities are churning out a whole bunch of hundreds of orders they usually’re all our personal individuals.”

Rougeot leaves Sephora as the biggest status magnificence participant within the U.S., with gross sales of $10 billion. That places the retailer in a stronger place than earlier than the coronavirus pandemic, and Patrick has no want to sluggish the momentum. Her technique is to stay targeted on a handful of priorities and never fear about what the competitors is doing.

In phrases of classes, Patrick, who will report back to Guillaume Motte, president and CEO of Sephora’s world enterprise, nonetheless sees a lot alternative in status facial and physique skincare, in addition to hair. 

While Sol de Janeiro is main physique care, Patrick stated there are quite a lot of nice manufacturers popping up, together with the relaunch of Josie Maran.

On facial skincare and the phenomenon of youthful buyers at Sephora and considerations that they’re shopping for merchandise too harsh for their younger pores and skin, Patrick believes the retailer’s magnificence advisers are key.

“They’re not on fee. We spend an amazing period of time and assets and vitality on educating our magnificence advisers,” she stated. “They do their easiest to be sure that the brand new client is aware of that is proper for your pores and skin with out being condescending. But the truth is that they know what they know they usually know what they need, so there’s solely a lot they will do.”

While some opponents together with Ulta Beauty are carving out devoted wellness areas in shops, Patrick doesn’t see that as a route for Sephora.

“I don’t assume that’s how the patron outlets. It’s a journey. If I’m standing on the hair area and I’m fascinated with hair development and I see a phenomenal model like Act+Acre, that’s the place I’d anticipate to see it — subsequent to my shampoos and conditioner,” she stated, including that Sephora is the unique brick-and-mortar participant for hair well being model Nutrafol.

“Wellness is a really broad time period that generally means dietary supplements and in some circumstances means yoga or sleep, for instance, so we really consider now we have quite a lot of wellness classes within the present portfolio,” she continued.

But whereas wellness partitions received’t be showing anytime quickly, Sephora’s fleet will probably be getting a makeover throughout an in depth refurbishment venture.

“This is a large funding. It will take no less than 5 years,” Patrick stated. “In some circumstances it’s primarily constructing a brand new retailer, however we strongly consider that whether or not you’re in Manhattan or Omaha, Neb., you need to have the identical expertise.”

During a wider media briefing, Patrick additionally spoke concerning the significance of the wonder retailer’s partnership with Kohl’s, which started in August 2021. They are in 910 shops, with plans to enter the entire fleet.

A smaller Sephora store inside Kohl’s in Sussex, Wisc.

Courtesy picture

On Tuesday throughout its earnings name with analysts, Kohl’s CEO Tom Kingsbury known as 2023 a “breakout yr” for its partnership with Sephora, delivering greater than $1.4 billion in gross sales, up greater than 90 p.c year-over-year.

“It’s doing extremely effectively,” Patrick stated. “We’re on a path to succeed in $2 billion subsequent yr with Sephora inside Kohl’s. We’re including 140 new doorways so by mid subsequent yr we’ll be in the entire fleet, which signifies that we are able to double up on the advertising and marketing.

“The actuality is Kohl’s is best at some issues than we’re. They have extra males, they’ve extra households in order that’s a giant alternative for us. Frankly, they’re higher at vacation and key gifting occasions. We had an outstanding Valentine’s Day.”

According to trade sources, globally Sephora sped previous the 12 billion euro gross sales mark in 2022, and is on tempo to realize its aim of 20 billion euros over the approaching years.

With all this going on and a giant profession change about to occur, Patrick stated she lives in a continuing state of gratitude, partly on account of her upbringing.

Born in Iran, Patrick moved to Los Angeles when she was eight together with her dad and mom in the course of the Iranian Revolution as her father was one of many Shah’s pilots. 

In what was a really troublesome transition for her household who barely spoke any English, her mom returned to Iran to go to household and was unable to return to the U.S. because of the Iranian hostage disaster. With her father unequipped to maintain her, Patrick moved into a gaggle residence after which in with foster dad and mom age 10, who raised her and are nonetheless in her life. She ultimately reconnected together with her mom.

“I’m in awe of how I ended up right here. I’m very grateful for foster dad and mom that inspired me to go to school, go to grad college, and observe my goals,” she stated.

“I’m very grateful for the place I’ve landed. It’s additionally why I actually do consider in paying it ahead. I consider in inclusivity and never simply as a time period however as a way of life.”

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