Sephora has drastically changed the way people shop for fragrances in its stores, and it’s blaming store thefts for it.
Sephora told CNN that it has removed all fragrances – which it said are among the most targeted items for theft – from stores shelves and displays and replaced them with fragrance tester bottles.
Previously, people could go into the fragrance section of a Sephora store, use testers to find a scent from a brand they liked and then reach for an unopened box of the fragrance on the shelf and proceed to checkout.
That’s gone. Instead, shoppers will now find only testers on display. If they want to buy a particular fragrance, they’ll have to request store staff to get it for them.
Sephora’s cosmetics empire was built upon its pioneering try-before-you-buy store strategy for beauty products followed by the grab-and-go convenience of paying for them.
But the company says a rise in crime forced it to do away with that strategy – at least for fragrances – that drove so much of its success and built goodwill with customers.
Sephora locked up the fragrances and added more staff specifically tasked with stopping theft.