Another “mostly digital” brand is expanding its store footprint. Glossier Inc., a beauty products brand and mainly online retailer is opening a store in Los Angeles, the company has confirmed to Internet Retailer.
The store, which has not yet opened, will be the second permanent retail location for Glossier. The other is a 1,500-square-foot store in New York, which opened in 2016.
Glossier says that 50% of shoppers to its physical storefronts make a purchase. That includes its New York location, as well as pop-up shops, such as one it operated in London and a temporary store in San Francisco that was open from mid-March until Saturday.
Glossier, which dubs itself as “the beauty brand you want to be friends with” launched in 2014 as a spinoff of Into The Gloss, a blog that features interviews with models, makeup artists and other influential women. Over the past four years, Glossier has evolved into a producer of a wide range of beauty products and a fast-growing, buzzed-about online retailer.
Glossier in February closed a $52 million series C round of funding, bringing its total raised to $86.4 million.
Glossier’s sales grew nearly 300% in 2017. That followed roughly 600% growth a year earlier, Glossier president and chief operating officer Henry Davis told Internet Retailer last month.
The site logged 2.14 million visits in January, according to web measurement firm SimilarWeb Ltd., up 75% from 1.22 million during the busy holiday shopping month of December 2017.
Then, there’s the Into The Gloss blog’s already-loyal followers, numbering some 2.43 million monthly visitors, which enables Glossier to listen and speak directly to its consumers outside its retail site and to highlight Glossier products where appropriate. Blog visitors can shop Glossier from the blog and when a shopper signs up for the Into The Gloss email list, she also gets news about new Glossier products. Its fans follow the brand away from the site and blog, too: Glossier’s Facebook page has more than 181,000 likes. The brand also has more than 1 million Instagram and more than 54,000 Twitter followers.
Glossier posted an 86.7% increase in buyers over the past year and a 91% increase in sales, according to data from e-commerce analytics firm Slice Intelligence. Slice analyzes U.S. online sales based on the email receipts of a panel of more than 5.5 million online consumers.
Millennials comprise 50.5% of Glossier buyers, compared with 33.2% of makeup and skincare buyers for all other brands analyzed by Slice. And the analytics company also reports that, on average, Glossier buyers spent $173.01 with the company in the last year. The average spend per buyer has increased since the previous year, when it was $166.49. Glossier buyers spent $233.48 in total on non-Glossier items in the last year, Slice says. That means Glossier items account for nearly 43% of the retailer’s customers’ total makeup and skincare purchases.
“The total annual spend and buying rate are notable, considering Glossier’s product offering is minimal—less than 35 products in total with the average price per product between $12-$30,” Slice writes in a blog post.
While many vertically integrated, digitally native companies such as Glossier get their start online, they’re not limited to selling over the internet. Many web-only brands branch out into brick-and-mortar retail after gaining traction online. For example, men’s apparel seller Bonobos has 48 “guideshops” that provide shoppers with fittings and try-ons through 1-on-1 appointments. However, shoppers don’t walk out with anything; the “guides” place the orders for customers and clothes are shipped to their home or office.
Meanwhile, eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker, which also started out selling only online, estimated the majority of its revenue would come from its 65 stores during 2017. As with Bonobos, Warby Parker ships the eyeglasses purchased in store to its customer’s home.
“The world is still not in a place where you necessarily trust a brand that you can’t touch and feel in-store,” says Eric Roth, managing director and head of the consumer retail group at Lazard Middle Market, part of investment bank and asset management company Lazard. “That’s why you see Bonobos and Warby Parker opening stores. They started as 100% online businesses, and I think smartly they saw one good way to accelerate brand awareness is to have showrooms where people can see the product, buy the product, try on the product.”
Warby Parker is No. 189 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500, Bonobos is owned by Walmart, No. 3.