Glossier, the eight-year-old direct-to-consumer (D-to-C) beauty unicorn, is entering its first-ever retailer partnership with LVMH-owned beauty giant Sephora in a high-profile shift in distribution. Starting in early 2023, Glossier products will be available in Sephora’s stores across the US and Canada, as well as via its e-commerce site and app, according to the brand. The partnership marks “a new chapter in [Glossier’s] omnichannel strategy”, says the brand’s chief executive Kyle Leahy. Glossier tested wholesale in 2020 with its “Glossier You” fragrance sold in seven brick-and-mortar Nordstrom locations across the U.S.
Total Retail's Take: D-to-C standout Glossier is turning to the more traditional brick-and-mortar retail distribution channel as it seeks to expose its brand to more people. In fact, establishing itself as an omnichannel brand, both through wholesale partnerships such as this one with Sephora as well as the expansion of its own physical footprint, is a priority for the brand, according to Leahy.
Consider that Glossier, like many of its D-to-C peers, is pivoting to multibrand retailers in a bid to reach new and younger customers amid rising online customer acquisition costs. For example, Allbirds' Co-Founder and CEO Joey Zwillinger said in February that the company plans to selectively enter into third-party retail relationships in the second quarter; men’s grooming brand Harry's joined Walmart in 2018; and digital brands including Reformation, Away, and Everlane are now sold at Nordstrom.