DTC darling no more! In another move to expand distribution, Glossier is opening a brick-and-mortar store in Williamsburg this fall (address TBD).
Under CEO Kyle Leahy, who replaced founder Emily Weiss in May, Glossier is doubling down on its IRL footprint. Last month, the company inked a retail partnership with Sephora, a sharp pivot from its original direct-to-consumer model, and announced additional locations in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
In a memo obtained by WWD, Leahy hinted at other changes in the pipeline.
"I am energized by the progress we are rapidly making against our omnichannel strategy: elevating our product road map, launching our partnership with Sephora in early 2023, replatforming our website in fall 2022, and opening an exciting pipeline of new stores across major cities in the U.S., culminating with our return to SoHo with our NYC flagship in early 2023."
The news comes days after Glossier laid off 24 employees in an effort to streamline operations and facilitate its new 360-degree approach. The company is reportedly adding just under 20 new hires "to support key areas and priority initiatives, including in wholesale, product, supply chain and operations."
Leahy's changes reflect frustrations shared among customers near the tail-end of Weiss' tenure as CEO. As DTC giants such as Warby Parker, Parade, and Casper expanded their brick-and-mortar presence, Glossier stuck to online retail, frustrating international customers (the brand doesn't ship worldwide) and those hungry for tactile connection.
IRL sales are growing, meaning the company's move towards brick-and-mortar expansion is undoubtably wise. What's unclear, however, is whether consumers think Glossier's minimal, millennial pink ambitions are still cool.