Canada’s first Beauty TIP Workshop, located at Sephora Yorkdale
As Sephora continues its year-long “market intensification” plans in the Greater Toronto Area, it has launched its very first Beauty TIP Workshop in Canada. The new store concept opened last week at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. (Watch our Facebook Live tour of the space.)
The newly renovated, 9,146-square-foot location is only one of four stores in North America to be outfitted with the TIP concept (short for “Teach, Inspire, Play”), which debuted in San Francisco last November as a model for Sephora’s stores of the future. The retailer’s goal is to marry high-tech innovation with customer service, and to deliver the experiential offerings that today’s shoppers want.
Set prominently in the centre of the Yorkdale location, the TIP hub is a bank of 10 stations, each outfitted with its own illuminated mirror, iPad, USB port and WiFi access. Here, customers can try on makeup looks (virtually or IRL), snap and share shoppable selfies, and learn beauty techniques—either by signing up for interactive group classes (four offered per day), led by Sephora makeup artists, or doing self-guided beauty tutorials.
“It started with the idea of creating beauty communities, and it’s been hugely successful,” says Terry Yanofsky, SVP and GM of Sephora Canada. “It’s not just about buying product. It’s more about the full experience and allowing our client to play.” (The retailer’s current call-to-action, “Let’s Beauty Together,” underscores this collaborative vibe.)
In the U.S., demand for the TIP makeup classes are so high, they’re at capacity, and Yanofsky predicts that Canadian consumers will be equally eager. “How has beauty changed over time? It’s becoming much more social,” says Yanofsky. Consider the rise of beauty YouTubers, now schooling the next gen of makeup lovers. “Learning [together] and sharing are huge things.”
Now that consumers have so many ways and places to purchase product, elevating the experiential will become increasingly essential for retailers wanting to stand out.
A TIP station inside the newly renovated Sephora Yorkdale store
The revamped Sephora Yorkdale also includes an expanded Beauty Studio for makeovers, featuring 12 seats, touchscreens and adjustable lighting