You frequently see brick-and-mortar businesses start selling their wares on the interwebs, but it’s less common to see it work the other way around.
But that’s the case for Birchbox, the New York-based subscription service that sends customers monthly boxes of beauty and lifestyle products. The company — which scored $60 million in funding back in April — announced yesterday the opening of its first physical store in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, at 433 West Broadway.
Visitors will be able to browse 2,000 products from 250 different brands like Smashbox, Caudalie, Jouer, Supergoop!, Cynthia Rowley, Baxter of California, Lab Series and the Art of Shaving, according to the press release. They’ll also be able to build their own Birchboxes (“B.Y.O.B.,” the release calls it) by combining any five sample size products for $15.
Still, it seems questionable why a company that already has an expansive online store would feel the need to open up a brick-and-mortar retail shop; surely the online store gets far more visitors.
But Birchbox’s Soho store offers immersive activities that online customers couldn’t possibly experience, like a “Try Bar” where customers can physically test products, on-site hair, nail and make-up appointments, and group classes on a variety of beauty products, according to the release.
“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,” Birchbox cofounder and co-CEO Katia Beauchamp said in the release. “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 customer’s needs.”