Beauty vending machines hit Europe

Beauty retailer Sephora is selling small bottles of the CK One fragrance through vending machines in the Paris Metro system.

Through February 20 (the project, orchestrated by Paris communications agency Nouveau Jour), the automats - called pocket stores - will sell 15ml flacons of the unisex fragrance for €15 each.

Following fashion's stylish 'concept vending machines,' Sephora has set up automated outlets across the US, selling its most popular products.

While vending machines have been used to create marketing 'buzz' previously, this marks the first time a beauty brand is using the traditional vending machine environment, namely that of public transport, to promote a product: the automats are located at the Charles de Gaulle-Etoile, Montparnasse, La Défense and Miromesnil metro stations.

Sephora tested beauty vending machines in the US previously, for example at JC Penney stores too small to carry full Sephora counters. They included make-up and other beauty products from what the retailer calls "cult make-up lines" (Bare Escentuals, Korres and Smashbox) and "innovative skincare lines" (Philosophy, Peter Thomas Roth, Strivectin and Murad) as well as fragrances (Juicy Couture, Dior, Aquolina and Aqua Di Gio) and Sephora's own product range. As an extra gimmick, there are small video screens attached to the machines that show customers how to best use the products.

"The Sephora ZoomShop is a mini beauty paradise that makes it easier for local Sephora fanatics to find their favorite products and brands close to home," read a statement sent to Relaxnews, "and it will introduce Sephora to customers who are not familiar with all it has to offer."

Vending machines have also been used for fashion, with one introduced during Art Basel Miami Beach by art and celebrity culture publication Interview Magazine to celebrate its 40th anniversary. This automat is stocked with different products representing 40 years of pop culture, including limited editions, cult classics, and new releases of clothes, music, film, and art.

Using a similar concept for its New York launch earlier this year, The Standard hotel chain introduced a poolside vending machine selling Bermuda shorts by surf brand Quiksilver, inspired by The Standard's four different US locations.

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