The move is exceptional for the retailer, which has built its business out of the fast growing trend for beauty boxes through the online retail channel.
The fact that it is now making the move to this retail channel underlines the maturity of the business, and the fact that the brand is now considered to be powerful enough to stand out against other big competitors in the cosmetics retail sector such as Sephora and The Body Shop.
Four years after starting the company, the company opened up the Birchbox retail store as a 4,500 square foot premises in one of Manhattan’s premier shopping areas in Soho on Friday July 11th.
Retail store targets same identity it has forged online
The store will be organized according to the same categories that are found on its online store, but the aim is also to give it a more ‘fun’ feel compared to conventional stores, according to co-founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna.
The store will stock most of the 250 brands that Birchbox carries online, including nail care, make-up, hair care and skin care, together with specific offerings targeting males and females individually.
The company will also be highlighting its signature boxes for men and women, with the Birchboxes of the month serving to platform some of the latest and most innovative cosmetic products to hit the market.
Concept serves to engage the consumer
The beauty box concept is seen as the first step in engaging consumers, with teasers and links then driving traffic online and potentially influencing purchases, and Lee explains that it is a global phenomenon that she would not have expected a decade ago.
“Subscription boxes such as Birchbox and Glossy Box have taken off in the US, Western Europe and in parts of Asia,” said Euromonitor analyst Virginia Lee.
“It’s incredible that beauty boxes have taken off. If you had asked me 10 years ago – would women, and increasingly men, pay 10-20 dollars a month to get samples delivered to their home? I would have said ‘no way, that’s a crazy idea.”