An e-retailer is turning to its customers to help it determine where it will open its next two physical retail locations.
Personal care products e-retailer Birchbox Inc., No. 254 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, is holding an online contest to determine the three cities where it will open up pop-up shops in August. Here’s how it works: Shoppers will log in to their Birchbox account and vote by entering their ZIP code and earn rewards for sharing their vote across social media channels.
The retailer says it plans in 2016 to open two permanent locations, including a men-focused concept called Birchbox Man, in cities where its pop-up shops perform the best. Birchbox opened its first bricks-and-mortar location last year in New York’s Soho neighborhood.
“Our offline customers have a higher lifetime value with us online, so for us, this isn’t just another cute pop-up,” CEO Katia Beauchamp said. “It’s a serious step toward further retail expansion and a way for us to test the waters in new markets.”
The contest runs through Friday, with the locations of the pop-up shops to be announced at the beginning of August. Top500Guide.com data shows that Birchbox has been growing rapidly, from $5 million in online sales in 2010, when it opened for business, to an Internet Retailer-estimated $96 million in 2014. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 109%.
Birchbox isn’t alone when it comes to e-retailers adding physical store locations. Last week athletic apparel and accessories manufacturer Fabletics announced plans to open five retail locations. Meanwhile, fashion jewelry e-retailer BaubleBar opened up its first physical retail location in Long Island’s Roosevelt Field Mall on June 30, the same mall where jewelry e-retailer Blue Nile (No. 85 in the 2015 Top 500 Guide) opened its first physical showroom in early June. At 1,200 square feet, BaubleBar’s location in the mall is about four times the size of Blue Nile’s.
A BaubleBar spokeswoman tells Internet Retailer that the goal of the store is to take everything that customers love about shopping online and translate it into an equally enjoyable offline shopping experience.