Sephora - Middle East

Improving in-store experience, team productivity and employee happiness through smart scheduling.

Partnership Sephora & Rotageek_BLOG_IMAGE-1
The challenge.
  • A lack of central visibility and reporting at the group level
  • Excessive time spent creating rotas that still were left with errors
  • Gaps in coverage at store-level for tasks or skill requirements that could impact customer service
  • Manual and time-consuming processes for both management and head office teams in signing off and collating timesheets and payroll
  • Disjointed and complicated processes for leave applications, shift swaps and communicating rota changes
The results.
  • Increased visibility across the whole organisation
  • Countless hours saved each month
  • Removed manual, paper-based processes from the business
  • Ensured rota creation is truly fair, compliant and has fulls kill coverage

Born in France in 1969 and launched in the Middle East in 2007, Sephora has become a leading beauty products and personal care retailer in the region.

Sephora is renowned for offering a unique service-oriented environment for women and men to discover the latest and most advanced skincare, makeup, and fragrances from around the world. Sephora has exponentially grown to more than 75 stores in five markets (UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait) with its flagship store in Dubai Mall ranking as the number one store worldwide.

Giving spreadsheets the brush off.

In 2019, the team at Sephora Middle East (ME) realised they had a problem. After a previous project to implement an employee scheduling system failed to deliver, they were long overdue to move away from spreadsheets and embrace a digital platform. They had identified challenges in the current way they were operating and they were keen to address them. They decided to go back to the market to find a solution partner to help solve these challenges.

At the start of the project, they had four main goals to secure its success: 

  1. Save their managers time by removing complex, manual and outdated processes.
    As retail operating models are squeezed ever-further, the need for the management team to focus their time and effort on the most value-adding tasks in a store (such as team coaching and customer service) is vital and so removing low-value work that can be automated is paramount.

  2. Ensure full coverage for every store for all the various tasks and skill requirements in a complex retail environment.
    In a real customer-focused retail environment, ensuring that the right team members, with the right skills, are on shift to service all the different services in the store at the right time is paramount for a modern retailer.

  3. Create real fairness in rotas for their team members.
    Previous projects to look at better rota management did not provide the automation power to truly and fairly optimise rotas for team members against the ‘unpopular shifts’ - e.g. late shifts or weekend shifts. This would be a key success criterion for the team who hold employee experience very highly!

  4. Improve visibility of workforce management at every level of the business - from team member to head office.
    By moving onto a digital platform, the team knew they would be able to offer real-time visibility to team members of their rota as well as vital reporting back to head office on a number of useful areas.

“In head office, before Rotageek, we didn’t have an overview of what was happening in the stores before because they were mainly using spreadsheets and so being able to view the schedules and leave in one place has been really useful to us.”

Aroma Lewis, Retail Business Analyst, Sephora Middle East

Finding the perfect shade.

To accomplish these objectives, Sephora ME chose Rotageek’s data-driven Autoscheduling solution to power their employee scheduling. Sephora Middle East are using the Rotageek solution to...

Forecast customer demand to power rota creation via integration with RetailNext.

RetailNext is a traffic analytics platform that collects and measures shopper behaviour with industry-leading accuracy.  By utilising this data history, Rotageek predicts Sephora's shopper traffic trends to forecast peak hours and shopping behaviour patterns. 

Optimise their labour engine to create really smart schedules.

Our powerful optimisation engine creates millions of schedules in a matter of seconds and automatically balances a huge number of variable rules and people principles to create smart schedules that work for the business, the customer and the employee. Sephora Middle East are now creating rotas that comply with employee contract hours and availability, have a better labour-to-demand match and utilise labour budgets more effectively.

Provide a slick solution that employees love.

The main user base at Sephora - Middle East is made up of shift workers and their supervisors or management teams. They need a solution that works on the go, on all device types. It needs to function out of the box and be so intuitive that team members can simply download it and begin using it seamlessly. 


"Autoscheduling provides our teams a much fairer way to plan their rotas, they achieve a better match to customer demand across the week, ensure coverage of necessary skills, and they also save time while doing it compared to using a spreadsheet file."

Diana Gulinescu - Retail Experience Manager, Sephora Middle East

The results of a scheduling makeover.

Since deploying Rotageek and moving away from spreadsheets to a digital and automated rota management system, Sephora- Middle East has been able to:

Increase visibility across the whole organisation.
Using the Rotageek mobile app has enabled greater visibility with user notifications and reporting platform, Sephora can get much greater visibility at every level of the business of what’s going on and when and use that information to make better decisions for the future.

Save countless hours each month.
With the ability to auto-create optimal rotas based on forecasts made from real traffic data, managers at Sephora ME have a fool-proof process that ensures rotas are fit to meet customer demand as well as compliant to their operating rules and employee preferences. This has saved a lot of time every month for managers looking after large complex teams and means they can focus on the higher-value tasks.

Remove manual, paper-based processes from the business.
Having structured workflows for everyday occurrences such as shift change notifications, swaps, extra cover, T&A, timesheets and payroll sign-off has removed occasions where errors, miscommunications and mistakes used to happen. This has been a real improvement for employees, managers and head office teams together.

Ensure rota creation is truly fair, compliant and has full skill coverage.
Since Rotageek easily identifies an optimum rota based on what it knows is most important to Sephora ME, there are no more worries about fairness or whether there is the correct skillset on the store floor today. Employees can see and know that they are getting the right allocation of shifts, and managers have confidence that the right people are in the right place.

Managers & Employees being scheduled
Remote Configuration, Implementation and Training Completed
Countries Deployed - UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar
Language Configurations (English & Arabic) for Mobile App andWeb Platform

“Thanks to Rotageek, planning the right number of people with the right skills and at the right time is no longer complicated and time-consuming. The perfect integration with our HR & footfall traffic counting system RetailNext allows us to build effective schedules for our retail teams in a matter of minutes. That’s an amazing win and a major step forward in making the business operations more efficient and productive.”

Andreea Ciocan, Retail Operations Manager at Sephora Middle East
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