Are its Nordstrom pop-ups a sign that Glossier is ready to work with department stores?

Discussion
Rendering: Glossier
Dec 06, 2019
George Anderson

The beauty brand Glossier has achieved success by skipping department store middlemen and selling its products directly to consumers online and in its two flagship locations in New York and Los Angeles. This week, however, the company made news as it deviated from past practice and opened pop-up shops in seven Nordstrom locations.

Glossier has opened its own pop-up shops in the past, but this is the first time it is partnering with a department store. The pop-ups will feature the brand’s Glossier You fragrance. In a series of interviews, CEO Emily Weiss explained that circumstances were right for the company to work with Nordstrom.

“Of all things that you can sell online, perfume is really, really tough,” Ms. Weiss told Business of Fashion. “The vast majority of perfume is bought where other perfumes are sold.”

Speaking with CNBC, she said that her company was “highly involved” in the hiring and training of beauty associates working in the Nordstrom pop-ups.

“We feel confident that with Nordstrom as our partner, we’ll be able to maintain our extremely high bar for customer experience,” she said.

The Glossier pop-ups will be located at Nordstrom stores in Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York, Santa Anita, CA, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The 300-square-foot shops will be open through Feb. 16. The company has not indicated any plans to expand its relationship with Nordstrom or other retailers at this time.

Glossier has been on an upward trajectory ever since Ms. Weiss launched it from her “Into the Gloss” beauty blog in 2014. The company, CNBC reports, surpassed $100 million in annual sales last year as it added one million new customers.

In September, Glossier named Amazon.com veteran Melissa Eamer as its chief operating officer. Ms. Eamer most recently served as VP for sales and marketing of Amazon devices. Previous posts included VP for consumer engagement, VP for sports, outdoors & toys, technical advisor for the company’s consumer business and director of the Kindle Content Store.

Other executive additions to Glossier’s team include Vanessa Wittman, formerly at Dropbox, as CFO; Edith Chen, from beauty industry supplier LF Beauty, as VP of supply chain operations; Nick DeAngelo, from Jet.com, as VP of operations; Diane Vavrasek, also from Jet.com, as chief people officer; and Leah Chernikoff, from Elle.com, as head of content.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What significance, if any, do you attribute to Glossier’s decision to open pop-up shops inside Nordstrom stores? Do you think Glossier will need to expand such relationships in order to remain on its growth path?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Glossier’s hookup with Nordstrom is all upside. More digital native brands are realizing that scale and awareness can’t be fully realized in a single, digital channel."
"It’s definitely a win-win as Glossier has lots of buzz, and Nordstrom customers will surely love discovering Glossier if they’re not familiar with them already."
"...what I am interested in seeing is how some of these brands can co-exist in the same space to help offset overhead costs..."

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3 Comments on "Are its Nordstrom pop-ups a sign that Glossier is ready to work with department stores?"


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Carol Spieckerman
BrainTrust

Glossier’s hookup with Nordstrom is all upside. More digital native brands are realizing that scale and awareness can’t be fully realized in a single, digital channel. Traditional retailers like Nordstrom can tap into digital brands’ highly-developed content platforms and social media outreach. The Nordstrom pop-ups will introduce more customers to Glossier and in an environment known for expertise and customer service. Once the pop-ups disappear, shoppers can continue the relationship online. It’s all good.

Ricardo Belmar
BrainTrust

This is potentially a match made in heaven for both brands. It’s definitely a win-win as Glossier has lots of buzz, and Nordstrom customers will surely love discovering Glossier if they’re not familiar with them already. I suspect seven pop-ups is a test to see if there is something worthwhile in a long-term relationship with Nordstrom. I don’t believe this says much about Glossier partnering with department stores to fuel growth as much as it is Glossier partnering with Nordstrom to fuel growth. There’s a difference. Nordstrom is not the average department store. I wouldn’t expect to see a Glossier pop-up show up in a Kohl’s or J.C. Penney anytime soon. Not that there couldn’t be other department stores chasing Glossier (and other similar digital brands) for similar purposes to drive foot traffic. In many ways, this is what department stores are supposed to be – a place where shoppers discover new brands.

Stephen Rector
BrainTrust

This move makes sense for both Glossier and Nordstrom. Nordstrom has already done a great job of partnering with other DNVBs, so it’s a natural choice. As more of these brands go into brick and mortar, what I am interested in seeing is how some of these brands can co-exist in the same space to help offset overhead costs – for example, could several DNVB beauty brands partner together to open up their own B&M’s to compete with the Sephoras and Ultas of the world?

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Glossier’s hookup with Nordstrom is all upside. More digital native brands are realizing that scale and awareness can’t be fully realized in a single, digital channel."
"It’s definitely a win-win as Glossier has lots of buzz, and Nordstrom customers will surely love discovering Glossier if they’re not familiar with them already."
"...what I am interested in seeing is how some of these brands can co-exist in the same space to help offset overhead costs..."

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