E-commerce company Birchbox takes Manhattan

Leading beauty and grooming e-commerce company Birchbox is preparing to open its first brick-and-mortar store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.

The store will feature a curated product assortment that includes 2,000 products from 250 brands including Smashbox, Caudalie, Jouer, Supergoop!, Cynthia Rowley, Baxter of California, Lab Series and Art of Shaving. Testers of every product in the store will be available.

The brand is employing a vertical merchandising strategy in the store that will allow consumers to shop by category instead of by brand. For example, a shopper could come in looking for a red lipstick and compare different types in the makeup section of the store.

The store will also have a dedicated B.Y.O.B. — or Build Your Own Birchbox — section where shoppers can hand-pick five sample size products of their choice for $15, as well as a “Try Bar” where customers can try on different products.

Birchbox will make beauty services for hair, nails and makeup available by appointment — with some walk-ins welcomed, schedules permitting — at its new store. It will also offer group classes there on a variety of topics. Classes are designed to appeal to all types of beauty consumers and allow them to sample, try and learn about the products. Classes will be free for Birchbox subscribers and $30 for non-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,” said 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 brand is bringing to the physical store the type of personalization through technology and content that it offers in the e-commerce space. With touchscreens throughout the store, customers will be able to answer a few questions about themselves to source product recommendations, along with customer reviews and video demonstrations to assist consumers in their product selection.

The Birchbox store, located at 433 West Broadway in New York, opens July 11.



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