Sephora, Ulta Put In-Store Beauty Services on Hold as Coronavirus Spreads

The beauty stores are increasing safety measures to protect shoppers as coronavirus spreads across the United States

Sephora Opening at Kaufhof Beauty World on October 19, 2017 in Duesseldorf, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images for SephoraXKaufhof

Two of the biggest names in beauty are taking steps to keep customers safe as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States.

Both Sephora and Ulta announced increased safety measures for all stores on Wednesday and underscored the important role that hygiene standards play in preventing the spread of the virus.

In an email to customers, CEO of Sephora Americas, Jean-André Rougeot, revealed how the company is responding to the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation.

"We have taken additional actions to ensure our entire organization is here to serve you in the safest way possible. All store employees have been trained to uphold and practice these measures, and we are closely following the latest guidance from the CDC, WHO, local governments and public health agencies,” he wrote.

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Most notably, all Sephora stores will be suspending paid and free in-store services, makeup and skin care application, and classes until further notice.

To help maintain high cleanliness standards, Sephora stores will regularly disinfect all high-touch areas (workstations, product displays and hygiene stations) with a hospital-grade disinfecting cleaner, and all stores and distribution centers will undergo a deep cleaning each week. The company is also making hand sanitizer readily available for both customers and employees at multiple stations across each store.

Those product testers beauty junkies love so much will also be disinfected several times a day and replaced when necessary. Rougeout also reminded shoppers that testers shouldn't be applied directly, and encouraged use of the disposable applicators each store keeps in stock.

Ulta CEO Mary Dillon issued a similar statement to shoppers, and emphasized the importance of cleanliness in the company's stores: "In addition to our regular cleaning procedures, increased sanitization measures are being added to all locations with extra attention to product testers and high-traffic areas. For any guest wanting to use a tester or trial a product, please ask an associate to assist you."

Dillon also encouraged shoppers to take advantage of Ulta's GLAMlab, which allows beauty lovers to virtually try on and test colors and shades of makeup.

Much like Sephora, Ulta is also turning its attention to in-store services: "For guests who have services booked, we’re happy to reschedule your appointment for a later date. We encourage you to reschedule if you’re not feeling well. Also note that some services may be temporarily unavailable in certain areas; please check with your local store for more information."

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