In a statement posted on Sephora Korea’s social media accounts, the LVMH-owned prestige beauty retailer said it would gradually terminate all its online and offline operations in the country.

Sephora launched in Korea in 2019 with a flagship in the Parnas Mall located in upscale Gangnam District in south Seoul. However, the company’s development plans were thwarted by the Covid-19 pandemic and strong local competition.

Other international retailers like Watsons and Boots have also struggled in this very specific market dominated by CJ Olive Young, which operates over 1,300 stores in the nation and sells a mix of mass and prestige products.

“Sephora heavy-heartedly decided to stop doing business in Korea,” said the company in a message published on its social media accounts. “We are deeply grateful to our customers who have supported us.” (Photo: screen copy Sephora Korea / Instagram)

Sephora Korea currently has five physical stores in Korea, in addition to its online operations. The company will start closing its operations on May 6. Sephora said its customer service team in Korea will continue operating until mid-August for returns and refunds.