DTC beauty brand Glossier is aiming to reclaim its physical retail presence as the world begins to emerge from the throes of the pandemic, with plans to open new stores in 2021 and 2022. Glossier Founder and CEO Emily Weiss wrote on its site that the brand is “ready to exist again in 3D,” revealing that the company will open three all-new permanent stores, starting in Seattle in August 2021, followed by Los Angeles in the fall, London in the winter (its first permanent international flagship) and in its home base of New York in 2022.
“At a time when the appetite for online shopping, accelerated by the pandemic, has never been stronger, the promise of immersive, real-life experiences rooted in discovery and connection is paradoxically also more resonant than ever,” Weiss wrote. “We imagine a future where digital and offline experiences exist in harmony, all in the service of helping people connect more deeply with themselves and others.”
Prior to closing all its locations due to the pandemic, Glossier operated flagships in New York and Los Angeles as well as a host of pop-ups in cities including Seattle, Boston and London. In 2019 alone, the brand welcomed more than 1 million people into its permanent and temporary stores.
As the brand re-enters brick-and-mortar, it’s returning to those previous communities to re-establish a physical presence. “Our first three stores are the culmination of everything we’ve learned from our prior offline experiences, and like these experiences, they look at each city through Glossier-colored glasses,” Weiss said. “We’re returning to places and communities we know and love: our new home in Los Angeles isn’t far from our former location on Melrose Place. In Seattle, a city of forests and lakes, our store design plays with the juxtaposition of nature and technology.
“In London, we’ll be following our most successful temporary store of all time with our first-ever permanent international flagship,” Weiss added. “Each of these stores is designed to inspire everyone to find joy and confidence in their personal beauty style, with a customer journey centered around self-discovery and belonging. People first, products second.”
In late summer 2020, Glossier came under fire: allegations of racism and mistreatment of employees hit the headlines when a group of former employees banded together to release an open letter calling the company out and demanding change. While the company’s retail doors have been closed, Weiss said it’s been focused on building its future retail employee experience, founded on “authenticity, integrity, inclusion, equity and empathy.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our former retail colleagues who shared with us, through many hours of conversations last year, how we can improve the overall experience for our retail team — and, most importantly, how we can ensure that we’re consistently creating a safe and inclusive environment for all Glossier retail team members,” Weiss noted.
As part of that mission, Glossier has brought on a new Head of People for Retail, Hector Camacho.