Birchbox rolling out in select Walgreens stores
If all goes well, Birchbox may soon be in a Walgreens near you.
The drugstore chain and online beauty subscription company are planning an 11-store pilot of Birchbox shops within select stores, reports WWD. Starting in December and continuing through early 2019, branded Birchbox boutiques will land in hand-picked Walgreens stores in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York and – drumroll, please – Dallas.
The Big D may be as close Oklahoma gets to a Birchbox shop, at least in the immediate future.
The locations will road test the concept. The partnership is a result of Walgreens’ strong focus on beauty and wellness products. Oh, and Walgreens also has taken a minority stake in Birchbox.
The Birchbox shops will range in size from 400 to 1,000 square feet, offering 40 brands not usually found in the mass market.
“It is really an edited and curated assortment,” said Lauren Brindley, group vice president of beauty and personal care at Walgreens. “It isn’t that we’re bringing in hundreds and hundreds of one brand. Through Birchbox, we’re able to bring in the best items of the best brands. We can build brands and bring new brands into the space based on what customers are asking for. The digital world has changed beauty, we need retail models that are more flexible. Birchbox will give us the chance to offer that.”
Expansion into more stores could come if shoppers like the Birchbox experience. “I don’t see any limitations in scaling a model like this. But I would say the customer is in charge of that,” said Richard Ashworth, president of pharmacy and retail operations at Walgreens. “The customer will determine whether we scale it or not. We have the financial and operational expertise capability to go as fast and wide, but the reality is we want to take direction from the customers. That’s what the pilot will do — get feedback.”