Walgreens boosts beauty offering with Birchbox partnership

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. has taken a minority stake in digital-first monthly beauty subscription service Birchbox, announcing plans for a partnership that will see Birchbox shops appearing in select Walgreens locations from December.


A rendering of a "Build your own Birchbox" counter - Photo: Walgreens
 
An initial 11-store pilot program will roll out at locations in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and New York through early 2019, with a space of between 400 and 1,000 square feet being dedicated to Birchbox in each store.

As well as browsing a curated selection of prestige beauty products from a range of more than 40 brands, customers will be able to create personalised boxes of cosmetics samples at “Build your own Birchbox” counters, just like at Birchbox’s NYC and Paris flagships.
 
The spaces will be manned by Birchbox-trained Walgreens beauty consultants and will also offer subscriptions to Birchbox’s monthly delivery service. A Birchbox section will also be added to the Wallgreens e-commerce website.
 
“Our customers want to shop the most sought-after brands in a welcoming and accessible environment, and the addition of Birchbox to our growing beauty offering is a big step in delivering on our promise to differentiate and elevate the beauty experience at Walgreens,” said president of operations at Walgreens, Richard Ashworth, in a release. “This collaboration will help enable Walgreens to continue to strengthen our beauty offering and build our prestige portfolio.”
 
“Walgreens is deeply committed to beauty and shares our vision for a different type of retail experience – one that is holistic, seamless and designed to help shoppers make informed, confident decisions,” added Katia Beauchamp, CEO and cofounder of Birchbox. “Together we will continue to evolve the integration of our physical and digital shopping experiences.”
 
The strategic partnership comes as Walgreens attempts to overhaul the beauty profile of its drugstore chain, refocusing on the segment and working on creating a specialized, differentiated offering in order to compensate for falling sales in other categories which consumers increasingly shop for at convenience stores or online.
 
The exact amount of Walgreens’ investment in Birchbox has not been disclosed.

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