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Birchbox Beta Tests More Customized Boxes

The company will ship needs-based beauty offerings to a select group for $15.

Birchbox is testing a more personalized box at a higher price point.

The program, called Birchbox Select Beta, gives customers the option to subscribe to boxes based on their needs (dry skin, colored hair, etc.) for $15 a month — $5 more than the usual $10 box price. That original box is still being offered.

Birchbox chief executive officer Katia Beauchamp previously noted that customization was in the cards for the company, noting the business was working on “personalization in the whole user experience” — something many beauty companies are working toward as consumer demands shift. The new box offering also gives subscribers the option to pick or skip specific types of products, or swap the box entirely for points the can be used at Birchbox’s shop, according to the company, which is asking consumers for feedback on the program.

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Birchbox Select Beta is rolling out shortly after Birchbox unveiled plans for a new retail location in Paris. Located on Rue Montmartre, the shop is slated to open this spring and provide shoppers with a place to shop for beauty by category rather than brand. It also gives Birchbox an opportunity to sell additional brands in the region.

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“We have this distinct customer [and] her needs evolved over time,” Beauchamp said in a recent interview. “We’re continuing to explore opportunities for the customer whose needs do evolve throughout her relationship with Birchbox. Our number-one priority is to stay relevant to our consumers.” At that point, Beauchamp was discussing the company’s mobile revamp, which rolled out in fall 2016 and aimed to target the 70 percent of customers who shop Birchbox on mobile.

The company switched course in 2016, transitioning from growth mode to profitability mode, which came with two rounds of layoffs and a general pause to retail expansion plans. In January, Beauchamp noted that the company was “way ahead of plan for [its] numbers.” The business received a $15 million bridge financing round in early August from existing investors. It was the first capital infusion since a $60 million round in 2014 that valued Birchbox at about $485 million.