Online beauty retailers move offline in new trend

In a reversal of the trend we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, digital beauty brands in the US are increasingly setting up shop offline, according to new research.

In 2014, a rising number of beauty brands that had previously only had a digital presence branched out into the physical space, market analysts Kline report.

Examples include online beauty subscription service Birchbox, which last year opened its first permanent store in New York, and also launched a pop up shop for men.

Online beauty retailer Violet Grey similarly opened a store, in Los Angeles, in 2014. Credo Beauty, an online portal for natural beauty products, opened its first store in San Francisco last year, with an eye on more to follow.

Karen Doskow, director of consumer products practice at Kline, said: “The flurry of online retailers entering the physical world signifies yet another paradigm shift in beauty retailing. While everyone else has been flocking online, online pure plays are becoming physical.”

E-commerce is the fast growing arm of the US beauty market, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 24% since 2009. However, online sales still account for just 8% of overall beauty and personal are products sales in the country, according to Kline data.