Beauty market

Emily Weiss of Glossier, among the last of the Girlbosses, quits

Since then, the brand has expanded to include 12 different shades, although that’s still little to choose from compared to the dozens of shades offered by other brands, including many newcomers.

And, more importantly, Glossier’s longstanding resistance to working with third-party retailers has made it increasingly difficult for the brand to acquire new customers organically using only its social and online channels – a pinch. that other direct-to-consumer brands are also feeling, says Ms. Duggal.

“The change in the customer acquisition algorithm for paid social networks now makes it very difficult to scale and drive profitability,” she said, adding that selling through brick-and-mortar stores remains the main driver of sales at all levels. Before the pandemic, 85% of beauty product purchases were made in physical stores, according to a 2020 McKinsey report. Even young consumers made the bulk of their purchases in-store.

Then, in August 2020, at the height of the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality, came an anonymous letter from Glossier’s retail employees (known internally as the “editors” ) alleging a racist and toxic work environment.

Management was “ill-equipped to guide a diverse team through the unique stressors of working in an experiential store,” the letter states. When customers were hostile to store staff, including incidents where a man was massaging a staff member without his consent or when white teenagers were playing with the “darker complexion products in a happy black face”, the Store staff “had come to expect no intervention and little recourse – not even assurances of our safety.

By then, several other founders of the original girlboss class had come under intense scrutiny, with current and former employees accusing them of aggressive and, in some cases, abusive leadership styles (review that CEOs and male founders often avoided). Away, Ms. Korey’s company, banned employees from emailing each other and limited paid time off for employees, The Verge reported; Away said he wanted employees to communicate via Slack instead, for “transparency” reasons.