Glossier on Tuesday opened a series of "shopping experiences" at seven Nordstrom locations to highlight its Glossier You fragrance in a physical environment. Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss noted consumers' inclination to shop for fragrances offline in announcing the launch.
As part of the partnership, Glossier's "Offline Editors" — a term the brand uses for its pink jumpsuit-wearing store associates — will man the shop-in-shops, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
The activations will be open from Dec. 3 through Feb. 16 at Nordstrom stores in Seattle, New York City, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Washington, D.C., and Santa Anita, California. The fragrance is the only Glossier product that will be sold at the Nordstrom locations.
Temporary locations have become a mainstay of direct-to-consumer brands, but Glossier especially has latched onto the strategy.
In addition to two permanent stores in Los Angeles and New York City (the latter of which began as a temporary location), the brand has an Austin pop-up open through Dec. 8 and had several side-by-side pop-ups in Boston's Seaport shopping district in September.
For many DTC brands, pop-ups and partnerships have become a relatively risk-free way of testing physical retail before opening permanent stores. When the time does come to open up permanent locations, many crop up in popular shopping areas like SoHo and Melrose, right down the street from other DTC brands.
The partnership with Nordstrom is aimed specifically at testing the Glossier You fragrance. It's a slight divergence from Glossier's makeup and skincare focus, and it's also a product customers are less willing to buy online, Glossier founder and CEO Weiss said in a statement.
"Fragrance is a highly personal category, and one that people still prefer to discover offline; 78% of U.S. fragrance sales came from brick and mortar last year — nearly a quarter of all sales coming from department stores," she said. "As a digital-first company, we look at offline experiences as opportunities for learning and experimentation, and given the uniqueness of the fragrance category, we have the freedom to try approaches with Glossier You that we might not pursue for the rest of our product portfolio."
Nordstrom is no stranger to DTC brands — the company has been the department store of choice for many digitally native brands, having also sold Bonobos, Away and Allbirds, among others.
The timing of the partnership, smack dab in the middle of the holiday season (and staying through Valentine's Day), was also deliberate. Weiss noted that the partnership with Nordstrom allows for "meeting people where they're already shopping for fragrance at the busiest time of the year."