Glossier puts the experience first expecting sales to follow
Direct-to-consumer beauty retailer Glossier continues to bring an experiential element to its brand with its new store location in Los Angeles, its second since shuttering all its stores last year, according to Glossy.
The beauty brand appears to be leaning even farther into experience-heavy showrooms than its pre-pandemic incarnation. The brand said that Glossier stores are not meant to “facilitate transactions” but instead to focus on a “new kind of beauty experience.”
The new store features Instagram/Tik Tok-ready installations, Hollywood-themed designs as a nod to the Los Angeles locale, lighting and mirrors “optimized for selfies” and other elements meant to appeal to a social media-savvy audience. There are separate rooms for skin care and makeup and an outdoor space with a cafe meant to act as a community hub.
The store concept as described recalls a wave of experiential pop-up retail that appeared in the years leading up to the pandemic.
Pop-up museums like The Museum of Ice Cream and Candytopia began appearing throughout the U.S., encouraging visitors to take selfies with in-store themed installations and post them on their social feeds.
Many such businesses experienced significant setbacks with the onset of the pandemic. The Museum of Ice Cream, in particular, often visited by celebrities, experienced a 100 percent drop in revenue almost overnight, according to Yahoo! News. The attraction is finally on the rebound with ticket sales for its New York City location beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels and two new locations opening this year.
While Glossier appears to be thinking of its stores primarily as experiential brand builders and not transactional locations, it has also taken other more traditional steps into physical retail.
At the end of 2019, after having been exclusively direct-to-consumer outside of its New York City and Los Angeles flagships, the brand entered into a partnership with Nordstrom. Glossier opened pop-up shops in seven Nordstrom locations in major urban markets to promote and sell its Glossier You fragrance.
- Glossier is betting big on experiential retail again – Glossy.co
- Candytopia’s pop-up museum puts AR on display – RetailWire
- The Museum of Ice Cream is back, proving experiential marketing is still alive – Yahoo!
- Are its Nordstrom pop-ups a sign that Glossier is ready to work with department stores? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think an experiential beauty store that is not entirely focused on product makes sense for Glossier? What is the best way for a DTC company to determine the right in-store experiences to offer shoppers?