NEW YORK — Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is using fragrance to build a beauty presence off-line.
Shiso Psychic (By Goop), an all-day pop-up at 252 Mott Street that opens on April 29, is Goop’s first pop-up dedicated to beauty. The focus is on fragrance — specifically Goop’s Edition 02, Shiso that bowed earlier this month — with the space a play on the scent’s mystical properties.
Erin Cotter, head of beauty at Goop, used words like “clairvoyant” and “homeopathic” to describe the brand’s second scent, which is composed of materials from shiso leaf, patchouli, oakmoss and palo santo. This is reflected throughout the 400-square-foot space, which will sell eau de parfum for $165 and candle versions, $72, of Edition 02 and Edition 01, Winter (Goop’s first scent that launched in the fall).
Cotter said Edition 01 selling out within the first week of going live on goop.com confirmed that customers want fragrance from Goop — even if they couldn’t smell or try it before purchasing. Creating a physical space to tell the story of Edition 02 and allow customers to sample the scent became the impetus for the pop-up.
“People were intrigued to buy it because it was a different approach…one, in the sense that it’s natural and we’re totally transparent about all of the ingredients…and [two], you combine that with our approach [which] is very artisanal. It’s an intersection of natural and artisanal,” Cotter said.
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She said all ingredients have links to homeopathic and “mystical” elements, which are mentioned in the brand’s advertising in-store, online and in a Wild Postings campaign that kicks off in New York and Los Angeles this week. Edition 02’s ingredients are featured in photography, while greenery and neon signs that have phrases such as “Fend Off Old Lovers” are presented in-store. Cotter likened the pop-up to a “Japanese, minimalist florist,” where greenery hangs from a chandelier and creeps up along the walls. There’s also an “added twist”: a clairvoyant who will be on-site to do customer readings.
“The fact that it’s the last frontier in terms of beauty categories to be sold online brings a unique challenge. That’s where having a very strong point of view, as well as fantastic storytelling, is really critical,” she said, adding that Goop founder Paltrow’s original concept was to build a collection of fragrances and add a scent each season.
Based on initial customer response and early sell-through rates, Cotter said she thinks fragrance can become a significant part of Goop’s business. She envisions developing a range of up to six scents and “really focusing on building those.”
Beauty has become an entry point for consumers buying into the brand, Cotter maintained, noting that in terms of units, beauty is the bestselling category at goop.com. Year-to-date, beauty revenue has tripled, with sales from Goop-owned products driving the vast majority of sales.
The reason for this growth, Cotter explained, is the “contextual commerce” business strategy adopted by the company that’s allowed the site to deviate from a traditional beauty retail model. She said all products sold on the site are integrated into the editorial storytelling.
“When we launch a new product, we don’t just put it on the site; it’s been preselected and curated so we know we love the product and we want to authentically write about it. When Jean Godfrey-June [ Goop’s beauty director] writes about a product our readers trust her and look to her, and as a result drives an incredible amount of sales,” Cotter said.