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BaubleBar Pops Up in SoHo

The accessories e-tailer has plans to launch pop-up concept stores nationally.

BaubleBar will pop up in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in a 4,000-square-foot space at 131 Greene Street for two months beginning Thursday.

This story first appeared in the June 5, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The SoHo site is the second pop-up store this year in Manhattan for the accessories e-tailer cofounded by Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky in 2011, and will serve as the launching pad for national pop-ups. Open through Aug. 13, the BaubleBar shop will feature the same items available on its site. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

According to Jain, the company sold two-and-a-half weeks’ worth of inventory within the first day-and-a-half of being open for the month-long pop-up store in February in the Meatpacking District. Unlike the earlier one that was marketed to friends and family of its existing customer base to test the concept, the new pop-up is marketed to everyone.

“Based on data from our Meatpacking pop-up, we found that women touch and feel the product and once they do, they immediately understand the product. That’s our number-one hurdle online. The pop-up is designed to encourage a trial of our brand [offerings],” Jain said.

In the February test, 75 percent of walk-ins continued to engage with the company via e-mails, and 45 percent made a subsequent purchase online. Purchases at the store were 33 percent higher than online, with the average purchase online at around $50.

The one hurdle to pop-ups for the e-tailer is figuring out the inventory levels required. Jain called the process a “steep learning curve,” and said the sourcing side is a big challenge. That’s a logistical matter that the cofounders will have two months of data to learn from in which to push ahead with more pop-ups down the road. The goal is to target the local markets with inventory geared toward that customer base from data gleaned from its online shoppers in the particular geographic region.

The company does have a retail store, The Bar, off of its New York offices. A month ago, it made that an appointment-only site, and rents out the space at night for corporate events.

The pop-up this summer will incorporate a partnership with Olapic that facilitates user-generated content on the BaubleBar site, such as photos from store shoppers trying on the accessories, enabling online users to get styling ideas.