brick-and-mortar: where e-commerce calls home
Remember when shopping meant physically going to a store? Or better/worse a mall or strip mall? These days, between online shopping, mobile shopping, and even instagram shopping, (who's participated in an instagram sale?) it's easier than ever to get that instant adrenaline rush of making a purchase. What's interesting, is that successful e-commerce shops are beginning to establish real life stores. Online companies seem to have caught on that sometimes we need to try things on, play with our future purchases, and yes, physically swipe our debit cards (entering the numbers at home just isn't the same). E-commerce going brick-and-mortar is a trend that is sticking, it's as if even online shops need a place to call home.
The most recent activity of this trend was the opening of Birchbox's first brick-and-mortar in Soho last Friday. Oh how I wish I could've been there, their instagram account gave me serious fomo.
433 West Broadway New York, NY 10012
Co-founders Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp launched Birchbox in September 2010, and now less than four years later they have their own brick-and-mortar. As a responsible millennial, I started my $10 a month Birchbox subscription as soon as I got my first steady-paycheck, real-person job. I love these boxes, they provide me with the excitement of shopping, without having to do any work at all. I've fallen in love with some of my sampled products (*ahem* Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish), including a few that I would've never picked out for myself (*ahem* Lara and co purple sheer lip lube). Even though my Birchbox comes every month, I can track its shipping, and even sneak a peak at the samples before they arrive, I always want more, and anxiously await my next box. Birchbox's 4,200 square foot brick-and-mortar, complete with a Try Bar, BYOB - Build Your Own Birchbox bar, and hair, make-up and nail studio, sounds like my kind of Wonderland. I can't wait to get back to NYC to BYOB.
hours: M - S 10am - 8pm, Su 11am - 6pm (212) 966-5395
Other brick-and-mortar's we love:
121 Greene Street New York, NY 10012
Before their brick-and-mortar, Warby Parker partnered with boutiques to have stores-in-stores, an array of pop-up shops, and even a Warby Parker class trip van tour. I even remember visiting the Warby Parker class trip van on M Street in DC last spring. Now they have showrooms in Oklahoma City, Chicago, Nashville, Richmond, and Philadelphia, and brick-and-mortar's in LA, Dallas, NY and Boston. It's incredibly easy, convenient and, of course, charitable to have a pair of Warby Parker glasses - that you tried on in store - these days.
hours: M - F 9:30am – 5:30pm, s 11:00am - 6:30pm, su 11:00am – 5:30pm (646) 517-5223
230 Fifth Avenue suite 610 New York, NY 10001
I admit I have yet to try Baublebar's gems. However, in researching and viewing almost/probably all of their instagram posts, I absolutely need to get myself into a Baublebar to look at the jewelry in person. While the Bar by Baublebar is in New York, Baublebar has locations within Anthropologie and Nordstrom, including two right here in DC.
hours: M - F 10am - 6pm, by appointment only (646) 664-4827
291 Geary Street, Floor 2 San Francisco, CA 94102
Stephanie has a beautiful black monogramed leather tote, which goes great with our etxe wallet. She constantly gets complements on the quality of the leather on both. I'm lucky to have seen the leather tote in person, and of course I want my own someday! For everyone else, you'll have to visit their showroom in SF.
hours: M - F 10am - 5pm 1 (888) 993 9092
coming soon LA
Sophia Amoruso summed up the reasoning for why an e-commerce shop would want to go brick-and-mortar in a SXSW interview when she said about the nastygal customer, "We want to engage with her in the real world." I trust that this ultimate #girlboss will make this dream a reality in the very near future, and I can't wait to shop there.
What's your favorite e-commerce gone brick-and-mortar store?