FARGO - Sephora will be fitting up its own store in the West Acres shopping center to go into the Talbots bay near the mall’s main entrance, while Talbots will close with the end of its lease at the end of January, a mall official confirmed Wednesday, Jan. 13.

A city of Fargo permit issued Tuesday, Jan. 12, says Sephora will spend about $820,000 to fit up a 5,480 square-foot space.

Sephora currently operates a Sephora shop inside JCPenney.

“We have long received requests for a full-sized Sephora store, and we are pleased to say that beauty lovers can finally celebrate! Sephora will be opening their full-sized beauty experience at West Acres this coming fall – all the best beauty brands all in one big Sephora store,” Alissa Adams, chief operating officer of West Acres Development wrote in an emailed statement.

“Sephora will take the space currently occupied by Talbots (which will be closing at the end of their lease later this month). The space will also be expanded by 1,200 square feet, to bring the total to a nearly 5,500 square foot beauty experience,” she wrote.

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“We began discussions with Sephora in 2019. Talks were briefly put-on hold at the beginning of the pandemic in spring 2020, but quickly picked back up last fall. The lease is expected to be finalized by the end of this month,” Adams wrote

“Sephora currently operates a small store-within-a-store concept inside of JCPenney, with a condensed selection of Sephora’s brands. By comparison, the new store will be more than 3.5 times larger,” Adams wrote, adding that, “Sephora will be the second highly sought-after brand to open a location at West Acres in 2021. Popular athleisure brand, Athleta, will open in mid-February.”

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The local Talbots manager was not able to comment on the planned closure, and referred questions to a New York-based press relations office.

Sephora began operating stores inside JCPenney in 2006.

In May 2020, in the midst of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, national news outlets reported that Sephora, which is JCPenney's only make-up retailer, threatened to pull its cosmetics counters out of the Plano, Texas-based department store chain in an attempt to end its longtime contract with the retailer. The two retailers reached an out-of-court settlement over the issue.

The Dallas Morning News reported in December that Kohl’s and Sephora had signed a long-term partnership agreement to put shops in 200 Kohl’s stores in fall of 2021, as Sephora phased out its agreement with JCPenney.

JCPenney is reportedly developing a new beauty concept. The current contract between JCPenney and Sephora is scheduled to end in 2023.

Sephora is owned by the conglomerate LVMH, which has positioned itself as the world’s leading luxury goods group.