EXCLUSIVE: Glossier Gets Busier, Partnering With Space NK Across the U.K. and Ireland

LONDON — With a strong foothold in London, Glossier is preparing to make strides across the U.K. and Ireland through a new retail partnership with Space NK that will see the makeup, skin care and fragrance brand expand to more than 48 stores.

On Tuesday, Space NK will reveal that it’s rolling out Glossier to cities including Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin. Glossier will also be sold at Space NK stores in university towns such as Cambridge, Bristol, Norwich and Nottingham. 

Although Glossier has a flagship store in Covent Garden and distribution through Sephora in London, this is the first time the brand will be sold across the U.K. and Ireland with a retail partner.

On June 8, Space NK will launch Glossier online and in 48 stores, with more to follow later this year. Space NK will sell skin care, makeup and fragrance including bestsellers such as Glossier You EDP, Balm Dotcom, Cloud Paint, Boy Brow and Ultralip.

As part of the launch, Space NK said it is planning special customer experiences and “unique product immersions.” 

In an interview, Suze College, head of makeup at Space NK, described the launch of Glossier in 2014 as “one of the most iconic moments in beauty in the last decade,” adding that it could easily become one of the top three makeup brands at Space NK, playing in a league with Charlotte Tilbury, Rare Beauty and Hourglass. 

“People in the U.K. know Glossier through social media, but so many customers in our regional locations haven’t had the chance to try the brand before they buy it. We are eager to get the product into people’s hands, and bring an exciting twist on Glossier,” in store and online, she said.

Glossier Best Pink Lipsticks

A pink lipstick from Glossier

College added that Space NK has already begun training shop-floor staff, whose expertise and advice is critical in driving sales. She said that at Space NK, 55 percent of sales are in store. With makeup, that figure rises to 61 percent, and with fragrance it’s 59 percent. 

Kyle Leahy, chief executive officer of Glossier Inc., said expanding the brand’s reach beyond London has been “a key goal as we strive to meet our U.K. customers where they are.” She described the partnership with Space NK as a natural one, given both companies’ focus on community and retail experiences.

The Space NK partnership is part of Glossier’s wider international expansion strategy. It has partnerships with Sephora in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and last year launched international shipping to Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, India and Brazil.

“We are actively and rapidly looking at how we bring the brand to more people around the world in a really differentiated and unique way,” Leahy told Beauty Inc in an interview last year. 

As reported, Space NK has been steadily expanding its store network ahead of a potential sale by owner Manzanita Capital. Sky News reported last week that Manzanita has appointed a bank to explore a sale. Space NK declined to comment.

This year the beauty retailer is set to add seven more stores to its 74-strong U.K. retail portfolio, enrich its service offer and become a leader in fragrance. 

Sales at the retailer have been increasing by 30 percent annually for three years, and growing two-and-a-half times faster than the U.K. prestige premium market.

This year Space NK will open a new, larger Covent Garden unit, and two stores in Manchester, at Trafford Centre and Arndale Centre. It will also open at the Westquay Shopping Centre in Southhampton, and in Dundrum town center, near Dublin.

A few weeks ago Space NK relocated its Kingston store in southwest London, and there are more openings planned later this year. The new stores range in size from about 1,200 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet.

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