Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO
When Glossier was born in 2014, the default beauty shopping experience was still deeply rooted in brick and mortar stores. We launched as a digital-first beauty company because we believed people would be excited to shop for products in the same place they were reading product reviews, finding inspiration from friends and strangers alike, and even sharing their own routines—and that place was online. That bet, obvious in hindsight, turned out to be a good one. Today, three out of four beauty consumers looking to buy a new product begin that discovery journey on the Internet.
At the same time, offline experiences have always been an important part of Glossier, whether it was an “Escape Room,” converting a former FedEx space under our SoHo office into a 400 square foot pop-up, or even transforming said office into our first official store. We eventually built flagships in New York City and Los Angeles, and imaginative pop-ups inspired by the cities they inhabited, ranging from a greenhouse in Seattle to an eight-building campus in Boston. In 2019 alone, we welcomed more than one million people into our permanent and temporary stores. We created our spaces to inspire connection, curiosity, and wonder.
And then, suddenly, our world flattened. We closed all our doors on March 13, 2020 to support public health, hoping the pandemic would run its course in a matter of weeks... and then months. Our team turned their attention to the digital spaces where we could still connect with our customers, and slowly faced the reality that Glossier retail, a communal experience that often drew lines down the block, wouldn’t reopen until being together was safe again.
Now, as parts of the world begin to emerge from the worst of the pandemic, the world of Glossier is ready to exist again in 3D. I’m excited to share that we’ll be opening three all-new, permanent stores, starting in Seattle this August, followed by Los Angeles in the fall, and London in the winter. This is just the beginning: we have an exciting retail roadmap to bring Glossier to many more places, including our home base of New York City, in 2022.
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. 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. 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.
Creating a people-centric retail experience starts with our team members, who bring the magic of Glossier to life. While our doors have been closed, our top priority has been building our future retail employee experience: one that’s founded upon 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. We’ve brought on some incredible people to help drive this work, including our new Head of People for Retail, Hector Camacho, who goes into detail on our holistic approach here. Hiring starts today for Seattle, and we hope anyone who is excited about what we’re building (including former retail colleagues), will apply to join us at glossier.com/careers.
We can’t wait to welcome our community back as we reenter the 3D world of Glossier. 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. 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. We’ll see you there!