COVID-19 Retail Updates
Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO
Update as of August 7:
Since we closed our stores in March, we’ve strived to make the “right next decision” with a people-first lens, given all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. In recent months, it’s become clear that we will be living with the health and safety risks of COVID-19 for the remainder of 2020 and likely beyond. In light of this time horizon, we’ve made the difficult decision that we will not reopen our three stores this year, and possibly for the duration of the pandemic.
Sadly, this means we are taking the step of laying off our incredible retail employees in New York, Los Angeles and London, who have been furloughed since the start of June. To say that these teammates have been an essential part of making our stores so special would be an understatement. We could not be more grateful for everything they’ve brought to Glossier and the exceptional customer experience they created each day.
We recognize that this news comes at a challenging time for our retail employees in the United States, as Congress continues to stall on deciding the future of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit. It is critical that the government moves quickly to meaningfully support the tens of millions of Americans who rely on this benefit to weather the massive economic disruption brought about by the pandemic.
We will be providing our New York and Los Angeles teammates with 12 weeks of severance, healthcare coverage through the end of October for those on our plan, and additional wellness and mental health services. For the team supporting our pop-up in London, who we employ through a third party, we will not be renewing their temporary contract at the end of August. (Update: to provide more transition time for the London team, we will extend their contract for one additional month, through the end of September.)
As a digital-first company, we have always viewed our offline experiences as a channel for connection and community, and that mandate has not changed. We will keep working to find new formats for bringing joy to our community in this current environment, while reimagining Glossier retail for the future so that we can reopen with renewed creativity, energy, and scale when it is safe to do so. And we’ll continue to focus on delivering an engaging customer experience on our primary channel, e-commerce, at a time when beauty shopping and discovery are rapidly moving online.
Update as of May 18:
At Glossier, we were among the first to close our retail locations to support public health, and we now believe we’ll be among the last to reopen. The very things that make Glossier retail so special—the crowds, the lines, the experience of being together—are also the reasons why we have an added responsibility to our community. We’re challenging ourselves to reimagine the offline experience for this moment and beyond, and we’re hard at work finding new ways to inspire joy and bring people together, safely.
For all these reasons, we unfortunately need to take the step of furloughing our incredible retail teams in New York, Los Angeles and London as of June 1. Our retail colleagues are the reason our offline experiences are so special, and we’ve strived to take a people-first approach since closing our doors on March 13, continuing to pay them their full wages with the hope that we’d have a better line of sight to reopening our stores by now. With the realization that our timeline for reopening remains uncertain, we will compensate our teams in New York, Los Angeles and London through the end of May, a total of more than eleven weeks since closing our doors. We will continue to cover benefits, including healthcare, through August.
While this is a painful step, we remain as passionate as ever about the importance of offline experiences in Glossier’s future. Since day one, we’ve been a digital-first company, and even in ‘normal’ times, the vast majority of our sales happen online. That doesn’t diminish the role of retail: it elevates it. As shopping for beauty online becomes the norm—and this period is certainly accelerating that trend—retail gets to be about so much more than just procurement: it’s about human connection. We’ve always been building for this world, and this moment only deepens our resolve.
To our retail colleagues: you are the magic makers who bring Glossier offline to life, and we cannot wait for the day when we get to create together again.
Update as of April 17:
In light of the evolving situation surrounding COVID-19, and with respect to current national and regional guidelines, we will keep all our retail locations closed throughout the month of May. Employees at our permanent (NY and LA) and semi-permanent (London) locations will be compensated for their scheduled shifts during this time.
Update as of April 3:
It feels like many months have passed since I wrote this post about temporarily closing all of our retail locations on March 13—I'm still wrapping my head around how quickly COVID-19 is changing our collective reality.
As we at Glossier grapple with what it means to be a company during this time, with what it means to be a human during this time, we want to keep you all updated on the aspect of our business that is most impacted by this new normal: retail, consisting of our permanent stores and our temporary pop-ups.
When we made the decision to close our physical doors, we committed to paying our retail teams for at least two weeks, both those in our longstanding locations of New York, Los Angeles and London, and those in our pop-up locations of Atlanta and Arizona (the latter of which was set to open on the March 18, but is now indefinitely delayed).
Today, given our continued commitment to social distancing through the entirety of April (and longer if necessary), we are taking additional steps to support our team members. We'll pay our retail employees in Atlanta through April 26, the pop-up's scheduled end-date, and we'll pay the people who expected to work the Arizona pop-up through the same date. Hopefully, we'll be in a position to evaluate extending Atlanta, and opening Arizona, at some point in the future. Our retail teams in New York, Los Angeles and London will continue to get paid during our extended closures, through at least May 1. We’ll of course continue to monitor the situation, and adjust our plans and timelines accordingly.
As a first-time CEO, I’m always trying to decipher what I know and don’t know, what a spreadsheet says and what instinctively feels right, but as you well know, these are unparalleled circumstances. No business book, TED Talk, or lived experience could have prepared us for what we, along with the rest of the world, are dealing with right now.
In this moment, we only have one option: to continue to adapt, to reevaluate as the ground shifts under our feet, and to make the right next decision through the lens of our mission, our values, and our people, while ensuring Glossier is here for our customers for decades to come.
Thank you for all of your support, and we look forward to seeing you in our stores as soon as possible. In the meantime, stay safe, and see you all on Glossier.com.