Projects: Sephora Switches On Digital-Laden Flash Store In Paris


Sephora has opened up a digital-heavy, small footprint shop in Paris that builds screens into the visual environment and uses different interactive tools to let shoppers get at what’s not physically stocked at the location.

Developed by one of Sephora’s agencies, called Intangibles, the store near Paris City Hall is just 140 square metres, whereas conventional Sephora stores are about three times that size. The flagship on the Champs-Elysées is 1,500 square metres.


That means this smaller store has some 3,500 SKUs, but the “connected” design of the store gives women access to the 14,000 SKUs in Sephora’s cosmetics universe.

I think the agency saved a few bucks and used Google Translate to convert this from French to English, so I can’t quite figure out what’s going on here. But I sense shoppers can use an NFC card to select what they like from the endless aisle of touchscreens, and then arrange delivery and/or (perhaps) in-store pickup.


You can also do product look-up and get deeper information by placing SKUs on a reader disc fixed by multiple embedded screens in front of merchandised displays.

And there’s at least one wall-mounted touchscreen in the store.

Kinda nice. I like the visually dominant headers over the merchandised walls, much more so than ones I have seen done at Sephora with so-so rez indoor LED.

The small embedded tablets with flanking readers is good, as well, but larger screens and more of a focus on readability would be good. This has the look of content shovelled from online and doesn’t – at least from the pix – seems to respect that people will be squinting up a store because the screens are further away than the normal viewing distance of a smartphone or tablet.



Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
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12+ year-old blog and podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst & bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
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