Makeup chain Sephora opens Berkeley location on Fourth Street

Maya Valluru/Staff

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Operating approximately 2,300 stores globally and more than 430 stores across the Americas, cosmetics giant Sephora hosted the grand opening of its new Berkeley location Nov. 30.

According to Sephora’s website, the chain is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury goods conglomerate. This new location, which can be found at 1785 Fourth St., shares its new building with Amazon 4-star, a concept store that sells products with ratings of four or more stars on Amazon.

The new location is taking the place of what was formerly a Crate and Barrel outlet store. Although it closed its Fourth Street location, Crate and Barrel has opened a CB2 store, a home furnishings division of the company for young adults, also on Fourth Street.

According to Jonathan Miller, an employee at Ruby Livingdesign, a store adjacent to the new Sephora, the recent opening has drawn mixed feelings from other Fourth Street businesses.

“I think (the new Sephora is) good,” Miller said. “It definitely draws a lot of people to the street. But, Fourth Street used to be a lot more privately-owned boutiques, so some people are bothered by the fact that Sephora is a corporation.”

Prior to the opening of its Berkeley location, Sephora’s closest shops to UC Berkeley were in Emeryville and San Francisco. Sephora’s headquarters and innovation lab, where the company creates tools to help clients find the right products, are currently located in San Francisco.

Campus freshman Tiffany Chiang said she appreciates the fact that there is a Sephora store in Berkeley, because she did not like that students had to go to Emeryville or San Francisco.

“I do not go to Sephora very often because I usually just go to places like Target, but I do like it during the holiday season because they have really nice gift sets,” Chiang said.

Sephora joins many beauty supply stores located on Fourth Street including bareMinerals, Aveda, MAC Cosmetics, Kiehl’s and Benefit Cosmetics Boutique and Brow Bar.

Campus freshman Sneha Ramesh expressed concerns that Sephora, a large corporation, may take customers away from smaller, local businesses in Berkeley. Ramesh said she thought that it was ironic, considering that she believes students want to support local businesses.

“As a Berkeley student, I find it kind of ironic how Sephora is opening up a store and extending its corporation into the city of Berkeley, where students like to support small local businesses,” Ramesh said. “With Sephora and other big corporations coming in, it makes it hard for students to find those small local businesses. Over time, students might lose focus on supporting small business because it is more convenient to buy it from Sephora.”

Contact Lauren Good at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @lgooddailycal.