In recent years, Walgreens has been intensifying its beauty presence. The retailer already carries differentiated beauty assortments in approximately 3,000 stores, a Beauty Enthusiast club within its Balance Rewards loyalty program, and more than 3,500 in-store beauty consultants.
Founded in 2010, Birchbox has embarked on several physical retail projects. In addition to stores in New York (opened 2014) and Paris (2017), it has created pop-up locations across the U.S. and Europe. At one point, Birchbox discussed opening additional permanent U.S. stores but encountered financial roadblocks.
In addition to selling merchandise, the Birchbox stores serve as testing ground for consumer behavior. The New York location, for example, uses cameras and heat sensors to track shopper movement to see which products attracted them. It also uses iPods, mobile apps and WiFi analytics to collect shopper data.