Ambani’s Reliance partners Sephora for India in latest beauty push

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance is tying up with LVMH-owned Sephora to operate the beauty chain’s stores in India and help expand Sephora’s presence in the country’s fast-growing beauty and cosmetics market.

India’s largest retailer Reliance, which launched its own beauty retail platform called Tira in April to take on the likes of Nykaa and the Tata Group, will now take over Sephora’s 26 stores in India from Arvind Fashions.

Arvind Fashions had partnered with the French brand for the last eight years.

“The partnership gives RRVL (Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd) exclusive rights to build and enhance Sephora’s presence in India across channels,” Reliance Retail said in a statement.

Sephora’s products range from make-up to skincare. The chain also retails luxury brands such as Dior and Tom Ford offline and online and recently became the exclusive retailer for pop star Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty brand in India.

The 990.2 million-rupee ($11.89 million) deal between Reliance and Arvind Fashions comes months after local media reported that Sephora and Reliance Retail had abandoned talks to form a retail partnership for the Indian market.

Beauty retailers in India are vying to attract customers as demand for clean beauty and celebrity-owned brands grows. Brands such as Nykaa, Tira, and Shoppers Stop recently expanded their offerings in the hopes of attracting and keeping customers.

“Rising affluence, increasing urbanisation and the proliferation of social media have driven greater awareness of self-care and beauty, unlocking major opportunities for prestige beauty,” Sephora’s Asia President Alia Gogi said.

Shares of Arvind Fashions surged 11.5% after the news, before trimming some gains to close 5.8% higher.

The beauty division that hosted Sephora reported a revenue of 3.37 billion rupees in fiscal 2023, or about 7.6% of Arvind Fashions’ total revenue.

The company will use proceeds from the deal to invest in its brands and repay debt.

($1 = 83.2510 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)