Glossier partners with major beauty store, Sephora to revive the brand

Glossier in decline, fired 27 employees

Social media-born New York-based makeup brand “Glossier” is undergoing changes because of its inefficiency to keep up with evolving beauty industry.

Glossier laid off 24 employees on August 2nd, 2022. They also plan to add about 20 new employees, including leadership levels in the second half of this year as it transitions to an omnichannel model with major retailers in the United States and Canada.

Glossier is known as a successful example of a direct-to-consumer (D2C) beauty brand, and their flagship store in SoHo, New York always had a long line of people waiting for hours.


Glossier’s founder and CEO Emily Weiss, who originally worked as an assistant at Vogue magazine and W magazine, launched her personal beauty blog “Into The Gloss” in 2010. She interviewed celebrities in the fashion and beauty industry on her blog and asked them about their favorite cosmetics and makeup tips. The site became popular with readers and it quickly grew into a hot fashion and beauty site.

Emily started to think that she wants to make a cosmetics brand for “Inspired by real girls and designed for real life”, and then she launched Glossier in 2014.

The Glossier world was supported mainly by millennials, and its pink natural and glossy makeup products created a huge buzz.

That buzz also attracted investors’ interest. Glossier has raised $266 million in funding, including an $80 million Series E in July 2021 to build out its retail network, valuing the company at $1.8 billion.

However, the start-up brand Glossier, which caused such a big boom and achieved remarkable growth, has recently begun to lose its popularity.


Factors why Glossier lost their power

Glossier’s decline in popularity is due to several factors.

One is accusations by former employees about the brand’s working environment problem. In August 2020, former Glossier employees accused there is racism and a bad working environment inside the company on Medium and Instagram. These bad rumors resulted in a 26% year-on-year decline in Glossier’s U.S. sales in 2021.

On January 26th, 2021, Glossier laid off more than 80 employees in order to keep the brand’s future.

Another problem Glossier faced was due to their business model as D2C sales. D2C was still a novel business model when it was first established and it allowed the brand to grow into a unicorn company.

As previously mentioned, Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss has been making sales in the fanbase community through popularity garnered on her personal blog, Into The Gloss, which she started in 2010. As the millennial consumers who were Glossier’s main target grew older they shifted to more expensive brands which resulted in a decline in Glossier’s sales.

At the same time, many clean beauty brands began to appear, and Glossier’s original core message “Beauty products inspired by real life.” ended up becoming a very common concept.

Beauty trend born from social media has shifted so quickly, that Glossier was unable to evolve its branding and resulting in a loss of its popularity.

Glossier partners with major beauty store, Sephora to revive the brand

It’s also been told that the current Glossier is hard to catch Gen Z’s heart.

According to Gen Z experts, Gen Z tends to prefer using traditional brands such as Cerave rather than new Glossier products. Also, there are so many newcomers like The Ordinary, Youth to the People, and Kinship who provides an affordable price and sustainable products. They have already attracted Gen Z’s interests and resulted in no room for Glossier.

In response to this trend, Glossier decided to make a deal with Sephora. 

The deal with Sephora was conceived by founder Emily Weiss, who took over as executive chairwoman earlier this year, and marks the brand’s first wholesale distribution partnership since its D2C launch in 2014.

Glossier also appears to be moving rapidly toward an omnichannel strategy, including a partnership with Sephora, an improved product roadmap, and a re-platforming of Glossier’s website. Moreover, Glossier’s Soho flagship store is planning to reopen in early 2023.

Let’s keep an eye out for Glossier’s comeback drama in the future soon.

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