A truly Glossier experience!
As a full-time working mum of teen and tween daughters, shopping for the girls has moved nearly entirely online – both to save time and also to access the full range of brands and retailers that appeal to my daughters. A trip to London, despite living relatively close by, is a rare occurrence and for my daughters the stalwart go-to location is Urban Outfitters, which despite being on the High Street in my day seems to have remained the epitome of cool (if you’re 11 and 14).
So, when eldest daughter on our most recent trip guided us all to the Glossier store in Covent Garden, I was slightly surprised by this detour. When I say ‘guided’, I actually mean that this was her first choice of store and all other plans fitted in around it. I have to admit, I was a little intrigued as to what Glossier was doing that knocked Urban Outfitters off its top spot!
Glossier London is located in King Street in Covent Garden. To be precise, it is located in a 17th Century townhouse in Covent Garden. On walking in, my overwhelming reaction was ‘WOW’. The exterior and interior are simply beautiful. Although packed with teenagers (and their adults in tow) it nonetheless felt spacious and airy. I felt myself relax – which if you’re a mum of teen girls you will know is not a common reaction when you enter their typical retailer of choice.
It can sometimes feel in department stores and mass prestige beauty retailers that teenage girls are suffered rather than embraced. This has always puzzled me as it seems to be ignoring perhaps the most engaged and experimental consumers of the category. Not so in Glossier – the environment was immersive, with products out to be touched, smelled and (hygienically) tested. My girls were completely taken in - browsing the appealing products, beautifully on display, lapping up the promised benefits in a way that reminded me of when they were smaller reading ice cream descriptions – and I knew there would be no way that we could leave this store empty handed.
The actual point of purchase (via a shop assistant with a Tablet) was seamless and the final cherry on the cake was watching the products come down on a little conveyor belt thing, packaged in a bijou case and then placed in a pink Glossier bag. One month later and my girls both have the bags in their rooms, ‘on display’ – and the products purchased are still in their pouches, almost like small artefacts at an art gallery.
There were so many things that worked so well about Glossier – but for me what stood out was the fact that this brand was celebrating its target audience, treating them with respect and allowing them to interact with their product – with little surprises (e.g. the conveyor belt, the Glossier bag) that brought with them moments of delight for their young customers. We will definitely return. If you have even an ounce of the customer experience nerd in you, I’d urge you to get down there too.