Deborah Yeh | Influence 100
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Deborah Yeh 

Chief Marketing Officer 
Sephora
US

 

 

Sephora, a rare brick-and-mortar to flourish in recent times thanks to its experiential approach to retail, is taking a hit during the pandemic. Employees spoke out after being blindsided with mass layoffs as cities went into lockdown. While the brand has taken a reputational setback during the pandemic, it remains committed to its modern and progressive standing. For instance, Sephora notably committed to improving the diversity and equity of its stores after the #BlackLivesMatter protests in June.    

“Sephora has been at work on some of these issues for some time, but the current conditions make these needs more salient and more urgent,” Deborah Yeh told Glossy in July. “Retail is ultimately about the product experience, the purchase experience and how we support every client that walks into our store, physically or digitally.”

During her eight years at Sephora, Yeh has focused on making shopping as experiential and engaging as possible, for instance, Sephora’s app is complete with augmented reality capabilities that allow users to test cosmetics. The brand offers beauty classes, and has face-scanning technology that helps shoppers find products that match their skin tone.

All of which is in keeping with Sephora’s model of giving consumers a hands-on role in the shopping experience, including trying before buying. “The lady at the counter has been replaced by hundreds of people on YouTube. There are more voices. And we are trying to cut through the confusion,” Yeh told the New York Times. Yeh joined Sephora in 2012, after spending four years as Gap’s VP of marketing and leading marketing planning for Target’s entertainment and electronics businesses before that.