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Sephora Buys Interactive Digital Company Scentsa

Posted: August 7, 2013

Sephora Americas announced the acquisition of Scentsa, a state-of-the-art interactive digital technology designed to enhance the beauty shopping experience in store, from Crescent House Publishing LLC, a multimedia company serving the retail industry. The acquisition, which builds on a nearly five-year, exclusive partnership between Sephora and Scentsa, includes Scentsa’s custom software and intellectual property rights, making the technology platform proprietary to Sephora. Scentsa will continue to be led by its current team, who will join Sephora in their San Francisco office. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

In 2008, Sephora introduced the innovative Scentsa Fragrance Finder in selected stores to enable customers, with the tap of a finger, to easily find detailed information on the latest fragrances, discover new fragrances, view images, run videos or find thousands of reviews on favorite scents from around the world, all with cutting-edge clarity. It was an instantaneous hit with Sephora customers, and is in all of Sephora’s 330 freestanding stores today.

Building on that success, in July 2013, Sephora rolled out SkincareIQ, which leverages the Scentsa technology platform. Skincare IQ provides a way for consumers to match their personal skin care needs to thousands of skin care products, and offer a comprehensive facial skin care product library designed to address a wide range of skin care concerns. The interactive, wall-mounted technology is in all freestanding Sephora stores. Along with the Scentsa Fragrance Finder, SkincareIQ marks a major pillar of Sephora’s unique and exciting in-store technology offering, which also includes ColorIQ, the foundation matching solution, enabling Sephora beauty experts to determine which products are a precise match for each skin tone.

“Our clients love the opportunity we offer them to combine the intelligence of product data, an easy-to-use technology, and the help of our sales associates, to solve the age-old problem of finding the perfect product to match their own needs and desires,” said Julie Bornstein, chief marketing and digital officer, Sephora. “Having worked with Scentsa technology for the past five years, we know firsthand that Scentsa has revolutionized the way our clients think about finding a fragrance, and now skin care, and we are thrilled that Scentsa and its very talented team will now officially be part of Sephora.”

Bornstein added, “The enormous success we have had with Scentsa since its earliest days in our stores was a catalyst for the work we have done to use technology to fuel our in-store experience and become a multi-channel, digital leader. Our clients are not only smart and beautiful, they are tech savvy, and we are committed to offering them a distinctive experience now and into the future.”

Jason Patz, CEO of Scentsa, said, “We are delighted to join Sephora. Over the course of our very successful partnership we have been continuously impressed by Sephora’s ability to combine an unparalleled selection of brands and products with cutting-edge technology in order to deliver a unique and exceptional customer experience. We are proud to help Sephora to continue to transform the beauty landscape.”