Sephora took London by storm last week to celebrate the beauty retailer’s return to the UK market. The hottest brands in beauty, press, and influencers descended on the British capital for a two-day pop-up event at One Marylebone. Everywhere you looked, there were Sephora ads— black cabs, the Tube, and billboards. The “Express All of You” campaign coincided with the launch of Sephora.co.uk on October 17, which replaced Feelunique.com, the UK online retailer Sephora acquired in 2021.
However, the highly anticipated dedicated UK website launch was plagued by tech problems, blurry images, and out-of-stock issues. Sarah Miles, UK General Manager for Sephora (and former CEO of Feelunique), told TheIndustry.beauty, “Consumer engagement has been phenomenal, and on the first day maybe a little too phenomenal,” referring to a website outage caused by a surge in traffic, which has since been rectified.
Despite the promise of a “fully immersive” website, the launch didn’t deliver. From comments like “So Sephora in the UK is just FeelUnique but rebranded?”, “I thought this was gonna be an upgrade!”, and “Does the sephora uk website look bad for everyone or just me??”, British beauty fans took to Twitter, slamming the “glitchy” relaunch.