New York: Soho’s New Beauty Gem: A Brick and Mortar for Birchbox
Birchbox, the beauty sample delivery service that has thrived with its online-only business model just opened a brick-and-mortar store in SoHo.
Before they launched Birchbox in 2010, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna, like most of us, found it difficult to shop for beauty products online. Sometimes it is hard to know how a bronzer or a lipstick would through the images and description on the website, most of us still count on trying on the product in person or testing it on the back on our hand. So they came up with a brilliant idea and conceived an Avon-Lady-of-the-Internet approach: with an online beauty profile and for $10 a month, Birchbox members get a custom handful of beauty samples, monthly, in the mail. Needless to say, it’s been a runaway hit.
There are other companies that tried to adapt the business model and offer similar subscription boxes, but Birchbox still remains the best known and most popular beauty boxes in the industry. The company has over 800,000 members to date, and the number is only increasing.
After years of teasing us with pop-up shops, Birchbos is finally putting down roots and taking a step futher in Soho – They opened its first physical brick and mortar space at 433 West Broadway in July.
In the store, instead of arranging products by brands, like most of the other traditional retailers, they chose to sort them by category, with entire sections of the shop dedicated to “Cheek” or “Lip” or “Brow” ….. just like how they are arranged on their online store, so customers won’t have to walk around the store 50 times just to compare the desired red lipsticks.
They also stay true to their online approach by installing tons of in-store touchscreens devices to provide personalized product recommendations, customer reviews, expert tips and video demos.
At the back of the store, there’s a B.Y.O.B. — build your own Birchbox — section will let shoppers to custom-mix your sample size products starting from picking a box color (camel, over white or pink), and choose 5 products (one from each category) for 15 dollars. It is the attempt of bridging the online subscription and in-person shopping experience, and I am finding this BYOB so much fun, it makes me feel like a kid in a candy store again.
Downstairs, there is a hybrid space dedicated to classes on beauty hacks which is free for Birchbox subscribers; there is also a manicure station with polish service for $10, with additional nail art for double the price, a list of on-trend style are offered for you to choose from on the in-store iPad. The “try-on bar” on the side also offers makeover with featured products and blow-dry service for $30 dollars if you want to try out a new look with new products.
As if Sephora, Space NK and other beauty stores are not satisfying your product addition, Birchbox is now a new playground for all beauty lovers to test and experience new products. Here are the information of the new Birchbox store:
Address: 433 West Broadway, New York, NY 10012
Go check it out, and hope you like it!