Sephora recruits former Nike e-commerce leader for China operations

April 17, 2024 by
Frank Calviño

Sephora announced a new leadership appointment to oversee its presence in China, naming Xia Ding as managing director of Greater China. She will bring decades of experience, including time at JD.com, Hanes, and Nike.

The beauty retail detailed its new hire on April 15. The company noted the scope of her role, which includes mainland China and Hong Kong.

Sephora is part of LVMH, which ranks No. 3 in Digital Commerce 360’s Europe Database. Digital Commerce 360 categorizes the company as a Health & Beauty retailer.

Xia Ding’s role at Sephora

“Xia Ding is a quintessential leader with a wealth of experience in running businesses, digital transformations, and strategic business development,” said Alia Gogi, president of Sephora Asia. “I am confident that her skill set, knowledge of brick & mortar retail, expertise in digital and e-commerce, and proven track record in building and sustaining profitable business will take Sephora Greater China into its next phase of growth and success.”

Ding will report directly to Gogi. Sephora lists its Greater China market encompassing 350 stores and two e-commerce websites. It also operates associated digital platforms and apps. Globally, the brand counts 3,000 points of sale and operates in 35 different markets.

China was an area of experimentation for Sephora in 2023 when it debuted its “Stores of the Future” concept in Shanghai and Wuhan. The stores added unique Sephora services, free workshops, and new technology additions to reduce friction in the shopping experience and strengthen their omnichannel offerings.

Ding’s background before Sephora

“I am thrilled to join Sephora at a time where the prestige beauty market in China is at the cusp of its next growth phase,” Ding said in a released statement. “Sephora’s allure lies in its powerful curation capabilities, strong culture anchored in purpose and DE&I, and an incredible ability to offer beauty enthusiasts an ever-evolving retail experience.”

Before joining Sephora, she spent five years at Nike. There, she was vice president and general manager of e-commerce in the Asia Pacific and Latin America markets. Her other past roles included time as president of JD Fashion at JD.com, vice president of retail service at Nielsen in China, and vice president and director roles at HanesBrands Inc., leading expansion efforts in China.

Her arrival at Sephora comes as the company expands. The company’s website states that it has “an expanding base of 200 stores across the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and India.” Sephora revealed in March, however, that it would shutter its operations in South Korea beginning in May.

JD.com Inc. is No. 1 in the Asia Database, Digital Commerce 360’s ranking of the region’s largest online retailers. It is also No. 4 in the Global Online Marketplaces Database.

Nike ranks No. 8 in the Top 1000 Digital Commerce 360’s database of the largest North American e-retailers by online sales. It’s also the highest-ranking Apparel/Accessories retailer in the Top 1000.

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