Glossier goes completely online and closes all stores in response to coronavirus

Make up brand Glossier has said they will close all temporary and permanent stores for two weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Stores in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and London will close and the opening of Glossier Arizona, scheduled for next Wednesday, will be postponed.

In a letter to customers, founder Emily Weiss said: ‘This is obviously a fluid situation, so we’ll be monitoring and adjusting our plans and timeline accordingly. 

‘This is a tough call for many reasons…

‘From a company perspective, by closing our stores, we’ll sacrifice some near-term business goals, but we’re prepared to put public health ahead of our bottom line. ‘

She said that in New York alone, over 2,000 people visit the store everyday, often queueing to enter the experience store.

Emily says she made the decision after reading a piece in the Atlantic called Cancel Everything, which discusses the importance of social distancing.

Yascha Mounk wrote: ‘…anyone in a position of power or authority, instead of downplaying the dangers of the coronavirus, should ask people to stay away from public places, cancel big gatherings, and restrict most forms of nonessential travel.’

Emily read the piece in bed and initially thought about following the lead of others, but then changed her mind.

She says: ‘As a first-time CEO running a 5-year-old startup through its first global crisis, I read that Atlantic piece from bed last night with a heavy heart (“social distancing” is basically the opposite of our mission), and reconsidered my original position of “let’s follow, not lead” on the retail front.

‘If stores start closing, we’ll quickly follow suit. If foot traffic drops, we’ll close.

‘Then I thought: Wait a minute, we are leaders in retail, in so many ways. Our permanent and temporary offline experiences are more of a daily community event than a traditional store.

‘Why wouldn’t we lead here? This quickly became an easy, albeit painful, decision.

‘Together with our community, we will always strive to create less harm and more good in the world.’

She encouraged fans to look for inspiration from the brand on social media and on Glossier.com.

She also said that they had previously piloted a FaceTime programme where customers could schedule a 10 minute session to talk about the products and said they were going to use this moment ‘to spin up new, creative ways to foster community and connection and make magic happen.’

All staff who work in store will be compensated despite the two-week closure.

Ending the letter, Emily says: ‘To everyone reading: We’re not alarmists, we’re realists.

‘While this may not be the right decision for every company, it’s the one where we feel we can make an impact. To fellow business owners, remember your core values during this time—this is when they matter most.

‘To our customers and community, remember the power of adaptability. Stay present, be responsible, and try to lean into warmth and openness when you want to close off and pull down the shades.

‘This is a time for us to remember our humanity.’

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