Bloomingdale’s recently debuted beauty boutiques in store and online dubbed "Glowhaus," featuring 800 products from 30 or so brands, each under $100, Glamour magazine reports.
The effort includes "brand agnostic associates," Stacie Borteck, Bloomingdales' VP and divisional merchandise manager of cosmetics, told Glamour. The Glowhaus concept is a departure from department store tradition and aligns more with the likes of Sephora, which has been a leader in generating compelling beauty experiences in store and online.
Borteck also said Glowhaus will feature high turnover of merchandise, following bestsellers and trends.
Department stores have slowly but surely been challenged by specialty retailers that have decimated their home goods, toys, shoes and other departments, and the beauty category is the latest hot category. As department stores struggle, beauty retailers like Sephora and Ulta are thriving.
"Cosmetics are the last bastion of the department stores, and Ulta is accelerating its store growth," Nick Egelanian, president of retail development consultants SiteWorks International, told Retail Dive earlier this year. "This is the 30-year transfer of departments out of department stores. Department stores are under full scale assault, and this is just the beginning.”
That’s likely behind Bloomingdale’s decision to bring "brand-agnostic" staff to its Glowhaus effort. It’s also positioning the spaces to be more free-wheeling, no pressure spaces — in contrast to brand associates in department stores often known for up-selling their companies’ wares.
Offline, the boutiques as of Aug. 30 will be found in New York and California, with more locations coming next year, according to the report. Glowhaus is also available online.