Walgreens and online beauty retailer Birchbox announced late last week that they will team up to build Birchbox retail experiences within select Walgreens stores. The multi-channel offering will bring prestige beauty brands into Walgreens stores and allow customers to discover and shop for new brands in an interactive and accessible way, and will include a curated Birchbox shop on Walgreens digital properties. As part of the relationship, Walgreens will also acquire a minority equity interest in Birchbox.
The collaboration between Walgreens, with its convenient retail locations and expansive omnichannel presence, and Birchbox, which has changed the way customers discover beauty, will offer customers the opportunity to try out new brands and products. The initial pilot will include 11 Walgreens locations across major U.S. cities, rolling out from this December through early 2019.
“This is an exciting time for beauty at Walgreens,” said Richard Ashworth, President of Operations, Walgreens. “Our customers want to shop the most sought-after brands in a welcoming and accessible environment, and the addition of Birchbox to our growing beauty offering is a big step in delivering on our promise to differentiate and elevate the beauty experience at Walgreens. This collaboration will help enable Walgreens to continue to strengthen our beauty offering and build our prestige portfolio.”
“In Walgreens, we have found an exciting partner that supports our mission of reaching an underserved customer who doesn’t prioritize beauty,” said Katia Beauchamp, CEO and Cofounder of Birchbox. “Birchbox has effectively changed the relationship that this customer, who represents 70% of the market, has with beauty and increased her spend in the category. Walgreens is deeply committed to beauty and shares our vision for a different type of retail experience – one that is holistic, seamless and designed to help shoppers make informed, confident decisions. Together we will continue to evolve the integration of our physical and digital shopping experiences.”
The in-store Birchbox experiences within Walgreens will have dedicated space with Birchbox branding, elevated design and a curated product assortment featuring full-sized skincare, hair and makeup products from more than 40 prestige brands. Birchbox-trained Walgreens Beauty Consultants will be available to offer advice and guide the customer through the experience.
Additionally, within the Walgreens pilot stores, Birchbox will offer subscriptions to its monthly delivery services of personalized samples and a “Build Your Own Birchbox” experience (BYOB), which is a signature element of Birchbox’s flagship stores in New York City and Paris.
The launch of this collaboration with Birchbox marks further progress on Walgreens enhanced beauty offering for customers, which includes a differentiated beauty offering in approximately 3,000 stores across the U.S., a Beauty Enthusiast club within the Balance Rewards loyalty program and more than 3,500 in-store Beauty Consultants.