Online beauty shop Birchbox to open first store

After testing the waters of a physical store experience through a series of pop-up shops, online beauty subscription service Birchbox will open its first store, in New York City, Friday.

The brand will attempt to translate the excitement that accompanies opening a box full of new products to try out each month by offering testers of more than 2,000 products, a "Try Bar," where shoppers can experiment with different products, and a Build Your Own Birchbox section, where they can select five sample-size products for $15. They can also purchase full-size versions of the products.

Birchbox retail store.
Source: Birchbox

"We have learned so much about how we can drive customers to change their behavior online, and we see an opportunity to extend into offline retail to evolve with our customer's needs," said Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and co-CEO of Birchbox, in a press release.

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Birchbox joins a growing list of retailers who started their business online and then transitioned into the physical world with a bricks-and-mortar store. Fashion jewelry brand Baublebar and trendy eyewear company Warby Parker are two other brands that have made the transition.

Blank Label, a custom men's shirt company from Boston that began online, recently opened its second store after seeing its shipments more than quadruple after opening a physical location.

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Experts say it's important for retailers to expand into bricks-and-mortar so that customers can touch and feel their products. But Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. Retail & Distribution leader at Deloitte, said it's also a way for companies to market themselves and attract a new customer.

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According to Deloitte research, a company's e-commerce sales tend to be clustered in places where it also has physical stores.

"As brands figure out what their right mix of physical and digital is, they will establish storefronts as a way of broadcasting their brand," Paul said.

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The Birchbox store will also offer a place for shoppers to get their hair, nails and makeup done, as well as group beauty classes.

—By CNBC's Krystina Gustafson

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