Nike, Inc.’s Asia e-commerce chief, Ding Xia, was hired by Sephora to lead its China operations.  Xia, who spent the past five years as vice president and general manager of Nike’s E-Commerce Asia Pacific and Latin America region, is responsible for taking Sephora “into its next phase of growth” said Alia Gogi, Sephora’s managing director for Greater China, in a release.

Before Nike, Ding, led HanesBrands, Inc.’s China expansion and is a former president of local e-commerce giant Inc.’s fashion business.

LVMH’s second-largest brand by sales after Louis Vuitton, Sephora, has faced challenges replicating the success of its U.S. and European business in China from the competition in the country’s cosmetics industry and the dominance of major e-commerce platforms, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall. The brand is also challenged by consumer preference for shopping online, posing a hurdle for expanding and improving its network of brick-and-mortar doors.

Investors have raised concerns about Sephora’s performance in China, highlighted by the company’s announcement last month that it was leaving South Korea, where it failed to gain market share from local retail giants.

Sephora’s ambitious expansion strategy in China, which has seen the company open around 300 stores since it entered the Mainland in 2005, is a key part of its plan to reach a target of $21.3 billion in about five years, reported Bloomberg. However, the company’s expansion comes at a cost, having incurred losses since 2022 following strict COVID lockdowns that limited in-person shopping and the ensuing economic slowdown, according to annual reports from skincare manufacturer Shanghai Jahwa United Co Ltd., which holds 19 percent of Sephora’s Mainland China business. 

Images courtesy Sephora