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Glossier hits US$100m in sales and takes aim at Big Beauty
[SAN FRANCISCO] Glossier Inc., the fast-growing millennial makeup company, will surpass US$100 million in revenue this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Emily Weiss, and this rapid expansion has the company setting its sights high.
"When you look at these incumbents like, say, an Estee Lauder or L'Oreal, in 10 years time with the way consumer behavior is going, those may not be the most dominant players," Weiss said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Monday. "We believe that Glossier has every opportunity to fill in that space."
Glossier's serums and lip balms, complete with Instagram-friendly packaging, have allowed the New York-based company to carve out a sizable slice of a global beauty market that's estimated at US$532 billion.
It's one of the rare beauty companies that does almost all of its business online, and what began as a blog in 2010 has become a force in beauty e-commerce, with more than US$86 million in venture capital funding raised to date. It does not sell its products at department stores or specialty shops such as Sephora and Ulta Beauty Inc.
Bigger competitors are also seeing fast growth -- Ulta's quarterly revenue growth has averaged more than 20 per cent over the past three years, while Estee Lauder's annual sales is closing in on US$14 billion.
But Glossier is undeterred, and Weiss insists the company is now entering "phase two" of her plan. This includes melding e-commerce with social networks -- a "social commerce" website that's led by former Facebook Inc. and Instagram Inc. executive Keith Peiris -- so that customers can build relationships with each other. Glossier shoppers tend to look to their friends and Instagram for beauty shopping advice, instead of the traditional sources like magazines, she said.
During Black Friday weekend, Glossier sold one of its most popular products, "Boy Brow" eyebrow shapers, every four seconds. Total sales over the annual shopping holiday doubled compared to the year prior, the company said. Next year, it will focus on growth in countries it recently entered, including the UK, France and Canada.
Weiss declined to address media reports this year that Glossier could be preparing for a public offering.