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Glossier debuts at Sephora in the U.S., Canada

The digitally native beauty brand was already one of the most-searched at Sephora.

glossier products in a gondola

A Glossier gondola at Sephora. (Courtesy photo)

It’s official: Glossier is now available at Sephora.

The news: Glossier made its debut at Sephora stores in the U.S. and Canada. It marks the first wholesale partnership for the digitally-native beauty brand, which has been working under new CEO Kyle Leahy to expand beyond the DTC strategy that made it one of the most successful and influential startup brands of the last decade.

How it works:

As of Feb. 23, Glossier products are available on shelves at 600 Sephora stores, online and in the Sephora app. The companies said the assortment will include Glossier “staples and soon-to-be new favorites.”

Glossier shoppers will also be able to partake in Sephora’s loyalty program, called Beauty Insider, that unlocks perks and points.

Glossier will have its own display, called a gondola, inside Sephora stores, aiming to bring the brand’s iconic pink to the black-and-white backdrop of Sephora.

The display will include elements from Glossier's existing brick-and-mortar stores. These include Glossier’s “wavy tray tester system,” which allows trays to be easily rearranged for future products. The display also includes ‘You Look Good’ mirrors.

Key quote from Glossier CEO Kyle Leahy: "Glossier is built on community, and Sephora is not only an iconic global retailer but also embodies our commitment to community. It is a beauty destination and the perfect partner for Glossier's first-ever retail relationship. We both strive to celebrate the joys of beauty discovery and it's where so many of our customers are already shopping.”

Partnership announced in March: The agreement was initially announced in July, and signaled a shift among digitally native brands to embrace more traditional retail strategies as consumers returned to stores and privacy-oriented changes in digital advertising curtailed the attribution-powered performance marketing engine.

Retail embrace: This isn't Glossier's first foray into brick-and-mortar. It has five physical stores, including a new location that opened in D.C. over the summer. However, it does show the brand embracing a wider retail strategy that will make its products available in more places. For a brand that had plenty of sellouts and thrived on buzz under founder Emily Weiss, that's a marked shift. It may also be a path to further scale. Glossier is already well-known. Selling in larger volumes at locations where shoppers may discover it while browsing can help it go further.

Realizing demand: While there is plenty of meaning behind a DTC darling embracing wholesale, there was plenty of business sense to the deal. At the time of the initial announcement, Glossier was already one of the most-searched brands on Sephora. So, on one reading, it is simply going to a place where it can make good on existing demand. This is similar to DTC brands who become big enough to be widely searched on Amazon.

It’s a reminder to any brand: Have a clear picture not only of where your products are selling, but also where there are consumers who want to buy them. There are plenty of other considerations along the way, such as profitability and data ownership. But a baseline understanding of demand is an important first step.

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(Photo via Walmart)

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