Sephora opening in Bangor Mall’s JCPenney

There’s a new store opening at the Bangor Mall – well, a store within a store, to be precise.

Sephora, a beauty products store, will open June 15 inside the JCPenney at the mall. Amanda Parks, Penney’s beauty manager, says construction is under way, and there are still job openings for the new Sephora.

So color me ignorant (everybody else does), but I’ve never heard of Sephora. But I’m told by a few reputable sources that the female demographic will be very excited about this bit of news.

Parks confirms that.

“I’ve had a couple of squeals of delight” from customers learning of Sephora’s pending arrival, she reports.

This will be the second Sephora in Maine – the other one is at the Maine Mall in South Portland.

But it will be the first one in Maine inside a JCPenney, a concept that began in 2006. Today there’s more than 300 Sephora operations in JCPenneys, Parks says. The Sephora in the Bangor Mall will consist of about 1,500 square feet of space, with two fixed walls and two open sides.

Sephora will be the Bangor Mall JCPenney’s exclusive beauty offering, Park says, with makeup, fragrance and skincare products.

Sephora is the latest retail coup for the Bangor Mall, which in recent months has announced new operations including a Regis Salon opening there, as well as a new Cadillac Mountain Sports.

“We are delighted that JCPenney is adding Sephora, a well recognized brand, to the retail mix in Bangor Mall,” Bangor Mall General Manager James Gerety tells me. “This is the second new store announcement we’ve made in just a few months and there are more to come. It’s a good sign for the resurgence of retail.”

Sephora is an independent store from JCPenney – one’s not a subsidiary of the other, or anything like that. It’s actually owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, and there are more than 280 stand-alone stores, besides the in-store Penney operations.

According to Sephora’s website, it was founded in 1970 in France as Shop 8 by Dominique Mandonnaud, “who, in 1993, fashioned the store’s unique name by blending the Biblical name of Zipporah (Moses’ exceptionally beautiful wife) with the ancient Greek term for ‘pretty,’sephos.”

According to a 2006 from JCPenney and Sephora that announced the new agreement:

Each JCPenney Sephora will be in a prominent location in the center core of the store. It will have the signature Sephora look, including open-sell gondolas and wall linears, allowing customers easy access to products, and be staffed with a professional team of product consultants trained under the “Science of Sephora” education program.

In addition, the initiative will bring together two Internet powerhouses. Sephora is the largest online retailer of prestige beauty products. Sephora will exclusively service the JCP consumer’s online beauty needs through a link to from, which recently surpassed $1 billion in annual revenues.

“We see this initiative with JCPenney as a way to dramatically increase our retail presence, while we continue our core strategy of aggressively building free-standing stores across the country,” said David Suliteanu, president and chief executive officer of Sephora U.S.A.