My Life on (and off) the Guest List

Birchbox: Shaking the Beauty Retail Table w/ its New Store

Last Friday I, along with other bloggers, got the opportunity to get a VIP sneak peek of Birchbox‘s new retail store and I was majorly impressed. I love a good beauty store and I visit Sephora on a weekly basis, however, the Birchbox retail experience is different. Remember when Sephora first launched, it created an alternative solution for beauty retail, as it wasn’t a department store or drugstore type of experience. It was set apart from the norm. I feel that Birchbox has done a great job in setting itself apart retail-wise. Just looking at the pictures you can see how beautiful the store is and how people will be flocking to it. There hasn’t been any talk yet about expanding the stores and putting them in various locations, however, if they did decide to then it would be great to see how this impacts the retail environment. They will need to install Commercial alarm systems and cameras in these locations as well to keep everything secure and safe from any would-be beauty burglars.

The “.com experience” in person

Birchbox did a great job of ensuring the brand experience was continued offline. Whether you’re online or in-store it feels the same and the process is seamless. To top it off, you can use the points you earn from your monthly boxes to contribute towards full size products in store.

Categorical Shopping

Another differentiating factor is the layout of the store. Rather than separating products by brand, the store is separated by category. All the fragrances are together, as are the cheek products, as are the skin are products, and so on and so forth. With this model, the “discovery” theme continues offline. So typically I would go to Sephora for specific items, but now I may go to Birchbox to be more spontaneous.

Homage to “This Month’s Box” and Top Selling Products

If you want to know what’s new and hot, there is a dedicated section featuring what to expect in the latest monthly box beauty must-haves and the top selling products. A must for you beauty lovers who just can’t wait to get your Birchbox or who needs to grab a gift for another beauty addict.

BYOB: Build your own birchbox

I was excited to see that Birchbox kept the build your own birchbox section. Just as you can do online, you select samples from what is available (which changes periodically) in each category. Still, for only $15, you can get your “sample on” right away, no waiting for it to come via snail mail.

Try a Trend Stations

The “try a trend” stations are super cute. When you’re online, it’s easy to Google what the latest trend is and how to replicate it. Try the latest eyebrow arch or the hottest new lipcolor, Birchbox makes it easy with lots of products and visuals. In store, the incredibly helpful and knowledgeable staff are ready to share their expertise.

What’s Downstairs? Quick Styling Services and Birchbox Man/ lifestyle

The downstairs is awesome because you can get quick styling services such as makeup application, hair and nails. While on the VIP tour, I got to enjoy a nail service. The prices are $10.00 for a quick polish change and $30.00 for nail designs on every finger. Now, in my mind, an actual manicure to me requires water, cutting and nurturing the nail and for $30.00 you get none of that. With that said, I wouldn’t use the services part of the store. I would just go for new product discovery and to play!


Photos provided by Laura F. and Birchbox

***Thanks to our Beauty Contributor, Laura of Blush and Beakers for covering the Birchbox Store Opening for My Life on and off the Guest List. Make sure to check out her blog.

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