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FaceGym and other experience-based beauty brands grow their footprints while others shut their doors.

WHAT HAPPENED: Between 1990-2017, the number of nail salon storefronts in the U.S. rose 247%, cosmetics stores increased by 95% and gyms grew by 46%—and brands like FaceGym, a facial workout massage brand, are reaping the benefits.

Why it matters

  • As experience-minded storefronts retain the most promise in the retail industry, newer companies are inserting themselves into the landscape as offline-only destinations. Founded in 2016, FaceGym operates six “studios” in London, one at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship in New York, and now has plans to open two standalone studios in New York and LA in 2019. These studios independently curate monthly events—a joint yoga class and facial with the women’s workout apparel brand Sweaty Betty, for example—growing a community based on exclusive experiences that continue drawing customers into stores.

  • While cosmetics boutiques and nail salons thrive, supermarkets, sporting goods stores, furniture stores, book stores, hardware stores and shoe stores have faced decline since 1990, their products increasingly convenient to purchase online. Ironically, FaceGym is facing the opposite issue: How to enhance its ecommerce arm, which currently amounts to only 35% of sales. In an effort to establish a more balanced channel strategy with a 50-50 split between ecommerce and in-store sales, the company is launching an app in 2020 that, similar to the in-home cycling brand Peloton, will offer workouts to those living too far from FaceGym studios to visit in person.

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