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Birchbox turns to Paris for second physical store location

Beauty subscription service, Birchbox, is set to open its second permanent physical location, this time in Paris following several successful pop-ups in the French capital.

Birchbox's New York store
Birchbox’s New York store

Beauty subscription service, Birchbox, is set to unveil its second permanent physical location, this time in Paris.

Hot on the heels of several successful pop-ups in the French capital, including within Le Bon Marche and Galeries Lafayette, it will open at 17 rue Montmartre this spring.

It follows the first Birchbox store opening in New York in July 2014, which is referred to by the team as “a powerful way to connect with our customers”. Shoppers to that store go on to have a three-times higher lifetime value with the brand, the press release explains.

“With 90% of beauty still purchased offline, we wanted our French team to have the same opportunity to interact with their customers in the physical world,” it adds.

The Paris store will mirror that of the New York one, which is an extension of the online experience. The aim is to deepen relationships with French subscribers, introduce Birchbox to new customers, and build partnerships with new beauty brands.

France is its biggest market in Europe, ahead of the UK, Spain, Belgium and Ireland, where it also operates.

The news comes despite two rounds of staff layoffs at Birchbox during 2016, which it said were the result of it needing to get to profitability quicker than planned because of a shift in how investors are valuing growing, but money-losing, startups, Recode reported last summer. It since raised a $15 million “lifeline” from current investors.

According to Birchbox, it saw a particularly strong holiday season, with US sales more than 10% ahead of its acquisition results year-on-year for the month of December. It also says it plans to open more stores in the US in the foreseeable future.

By Rachel Arthur

Rachel Arthur is Editor-in-Chief of Current Daily, the leading news source for fashion, retail and innovation, and the co-host of its weekly Innovators podcast. She otherwise serves as Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Current Global, a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion luxury and retail. By background she is an award-winning business journalist and consultant, contributing to titles including Wired, Forbes and Business of Fashion.

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