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More Roots

The Mil­len­nial-fa­vorite beauty brand is head­ing west, where founder and ceo Emily Weiss said busi­ness is boom­ing.

- BY KALI HAYS The Roots · Los Angeles · Manhattan · Iceland · San Francisco · California · London · London Records · Toronto · Austria · Belgium · Youtube · Canada · United Kingdom · France · New York County, NY · NoLIta · Melrose · Isabel Marant · Melrose

Glossier will open its sec­ond per­ma­nent re­tail space next month in Los An­ge­les, join­ing its ex­ist­ing one in Man­hat­tan.

Glossier is open­ing its sec­ond per­ma­nent re­tail lo­ca­tion on the west side of Los An­ge­les, a city that counts as one of the brand's big­gest mar­kets.

“Los An­ge­les is a huge mar­ket for us, and San Fran­cisco — in a lot of Cal­i­for­nia we have a lot of de­mand,” Glossier founder and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Emily Weiss told WWD, speak­ing from San Fran­cisco, where a month­long pop-up store is open through Fri­day. Weiss said the pop-up has seen a Glossier prod­uct sold ev­ery 20 sec­onds on av­er­age.

And the brand's re­tail sales over­all have been brisk with a con­ver­sion rate of 50 per­cent, mean­ing half of all vis­i­tors to its per­ma­nent New York show­room and other pop-ups it's held over the last sev­eral months have made a pur­chase. In just un­der a month that the San Fran­cisco pop-up has been open, 20,000 shop­pers have come in, ac­cord­ing to Weiss.

Glossier also held a week­long pop-up in Lon­don re­cently, which drew 10,000 vis­i­tors, and Weiss said an­other week­long pop-in Toronto last year had a line out the door “pretty much the whole time.”

The com­pany's only cur­rent per­ma­nent space, its 1,500-square-foot New York show­room, which opened in late 2016, is also busy, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing it's on the sixth floor of a build­ing in the NoLIta neigh­bor­hood of Man­hat­tan. The show­room reg­u­larly sees 2,000 vis­i­tors on busy days, Weiss said. She added that the show­room gen­er­ates around 1,000 pieces of tagged so­cial con­tent each month, which is in line with the more than 1,000 pieces of tagged con­tent that the San Fran­cisco pop-up has so far gen­er­ated.

While Weiss de­clined to give specifics on off-line sales, in­dus­try sources es­ti­mate that the New York show­room last year did some­where around $8 mil­lion in busi­ness, or about $5,300 in sales per square foot.

And it seems that level of busi­ness is ex­pected for the new L.A. out­post, which is slated to open next month in a 1,500-square-foot, ground-level space on Mel­rose Av­enue, near the likes of Vi­o­let Grey, Is­abel Marant and The Line.

Again, Weiss de­clined to talk sales pro­jec­tions, but she noted: “All of our off-line sales have been pretty con­sis­tent at a 50 per­cent con­ver­sion. We don't see there be­ing any dif­fer­ence in L.A.” Glossier likely has a de­cent idea of ex­actly what to ex­pect since it held a pop-up last April in the same neigh­bor­hood.

As for why Glossier — a true dig­i­tally na­tive brand that grew out of Weiss' beauty blog Into the Gloss and is seen in the beauty in­dus­try as the first real di­rect-to-con­sumer player — is go­ing deeper into re­tail, Weiss said it ties in well with the com­pany's fo­cus on how its largely Mil­len­nial and Gen Z cus­tomer wants to in­ter­act with the brand.

“It's meant to be the pin­na­cle of en­gage­ment with Glossier,” Weiss said. “We want to de­light our cus­tomer and give her some­thing she can't ex­pe­ri­ence any­where else in the world.”

The still de­vel­op­ing de­sign of the L.A. store took from its cul­tural sur­round­ings, a “wink to the L.A. life­style,” as Weiss put it, and has a theme of driv­ing through the Cal­i­for­nia desert. Glossier's pop-up lo­ca­tions have been de­signed based on the city they were in, but the new L.A. store will be equipped with a “Glossier Canyon,” aimed at gen­er­at­ing self­ies.

Be­yond giv­ing shop­pers a new way to en­gage with and ex­pe­ri­ence Glossier — the lat­ter of which is some­thing Glossier pres­i­dent Henry Davis told WWD in Fe­bru­ary is “at the core” of the com­pany's in­ten­tion to be­come a “mas­sive, stand-alone busi­ness” in the con­text of an ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing pos­si­bly be­ing in the com­pany's fu­ture — go­ing off­line has also proven to be a fruit­ful ground for dis­cov­ery and de­vel­op­ments in the brand's dig­i­tal pres­ence and out­put.

“The fre­netic en­gage­ment that comes out of the shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence off­line has in­spired, and con­tin­ues to in­spire, the dig­i­tal prod­uct and ex­pe­ri­ence on­line,” Weiss said. “What is it about Glossier that has women wait­ing in the rain like they did in San Fran­cisco? What is it that has them fly­ing to see us? Those are the ques­tions that are re­ally in­ter­est­ing to us and the an­swer to those is there is an ex­pe­ri­ence that cus­tomers are crav­ing.

“The con­nec­tion is some­thing that peo­ple crave,” Weiss con­tin­ued. “His­tor­i­cally, beauty is a con­nec­tive, shared ex­pe­ri­ence, from early de­part­ment stores to YouTube. But it has been de­moc­ra­tized and it will con­tinue to be.”

As for what's next, Weiss said Glossier has a lot of “strate­gic goals” aimed at evolv­ing and ex­pand­ing its prod­uct line and ex­pand­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally, start­ing with Canada, the U.K. and France — but open­ing a sec­ond re­tail lo­ca­tion isn't the start of a ma­jor re­tail push.

“Our off­line ac­ti­va­tions are re­ally the ic­ing on the cake — we're not look­ing to go wide with those,” Weiss said. “We want to make it a very unique and spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence. If we do them ev­ery­where, we won't be able to de­liver on that.”

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 ??  ?? Shop­pers wait­ing in line to en­ter Glossier's
most re­cent pop-up in San
Shop­pers wait­ing in line to en­ter Glossier's most re­cent pop-up in San Fran­sisco.
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San Fran­sisco pop-up.
In­side Glossier's San Fran­sisco pop-up.

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