French cosmetics retailer Sephora (pronounced "Say-four-ah") is becoming well-known in the U.S. It is only natural that this cosmetics retailing powerhouse would have its flagship store on Paris's Avenue-des-Champs-Élysées. You really have to see this store to take it in. The pictures don't do it justice!
The company was founded in France in 1969. The name "Sephora" is adapted from Zipporah, the Hebrew name of the wife of Moses (Book of Exodus). The Sephora chain includes more than 750 stores in 21 countries. It carries over 250 brands of extremely popular makeup, skin care, fragrance, bath, hair care and beauty accessory items, including Sephora's own moderately-priced private label. The chain targets a fairly upscale market of affluent customers in all age groups.
The leading retail beauty chain in Europe, Sephora opened its first U.S. store in New York in 1997. Sephora is one of the fastest growing retailers in the U.S. Sephora is known for their sampling program and for their lenient 60-day return policy. In 2004, it also started to operate in Canada.