New York — Another online retailer has made the leap to the physical space. Beauty subscription company Birchbox has opened its first brick-and-mortar store, in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The two-level store brings the company’s digital experience to life, with a big emphasis on new products, customer reviews and expert advice. It also offers hair, nails and make-up services and group classes on various topics. The first class, taking place the week of July 21, will focus on make-up contouring tricks.
According to Birchbox, the store leverages the insights and feedback gathered since the company’s launch in 2010 from its more than 800,000 active subscribers.
“Our goal with Birchbox has always been to make it easy, efficient and fun for people to discover new brands and products fit for their lifestyle,” stated Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and co-CEO of Birchbox. “We have learned so much about how we can drive customers to change their behavior online, and we see an opportunity to extend into offline retail to evolve with our customers’ needs.”
The shop offers a curated product assortment of 2,000 products from 250 brands. Similar to the Birchbox site, the store is organized by category as opposed to brand. Testers of every product in the store are available. Shoppers can pick five sample size products of their choice for $15 in a dedicated B.Y.O.B. — Build Your Own Birchbox — section.
Technology helps create a personalized and seamless shopping experience. Touchscreens are located throughout the space that enable customers to answer a few questions about themselves to source product recommendations. There are plenty of iPads around the shop on which shoppers can view customer reviews and recommendations and video demonstrations to assist in their product selection.
Editorial content, videos and product reviews throughout the shop are designed to help customers learn and self-navigate. At the “Try Bar,” shoppers can experiment with different beauty trends and find the products that are right for them.
The classes, which are free for Birchbox subscribers and $30 for non-subscribers, are designed to appeal to all types of beauty consumers and allow them to sample, try and learn about the products.