As promised, the highlight of today is another beauty retailer’s response to COVID-19 – Glossier.
Obviously, their decision wasn’t easy for a plethora of reasons but Glossier HQ made the decision on March 12th to close down all of their permanent and temporary retail locations, including NYC, LA, London, and Atlanta for at least two weeks. The grand opening of the Glossier Arizona location, which was scheduled to happen in two days (Wednesday) has been postponed until further notice.
In founder and CEO Emily Weiss’s letter to Glossier’s customers and community, she mentions that Glossier will be compensating their offline editors for their scheduled time, despite the fact that their stores will be closed down. She also states that she realizes that short-term business goals will be sacrificed, but the brand feels that public health and safety is more important than the bottom line of the company.
Weiss says she was laying in bed reading the night before she published this decision. What stuck with her was Yascha Mounk’s piece published March 10th in The Atlantic advising anyone who reads it to “Cancel Everything.” The quote that made her ponder the right thing to do declared:
…anyone in a position of power or authority, instead of downplaying the dangers of the coronavirus, should ask people to stay away from public places, cancel big gatherings, and restrict most forms of nonessential travel.”“Cancel Everything” The Atlantic
She said that as a first-time CEO, her initial reaction to COVID-19, the 5-year-old start-ups first global crisis, was “let’s lead, not follow.” If other retailers started closing, Glossier would do it, too. If they noticed a drop in foot traffic, they would close those particular stores. However, the more she thought about it, the more she realized that Glossier needed to lead. Their brand is an entire community of its own. Glossier is the leader of that community and Emily Weiss is definitely in a position of power.
This quickly became an easy, albeit painful, decision. Together with our community, we will always strive to create less harm and more good in the world.”
With COVID-19 breaking down the stitching of a community that thrives on just the opposite of social distancing, and ultimately working hard to tear it apart, Weiss invites the brand’s community to join them on Instagram and Twitter (@glossier) to stay connected and to positive vibes. If you need to replenish products during this trying time, head to their website Glossier.com.
Undoubtedly, this is a tough decision for any business owner. COVID-19 has thrown everyone in this world into a whirlwind of life-changing choices that need to be made right now. Today. Every day. For who knows how long. Or the situation will get worse. Much worse. Fast.
Amidst it all, as a beauty community, we will see who truly cares about humanity as a whole and who will sit on the sidelines waiting for the situation to worsen. Some brands, some small business, might not make it through this global crisis. They might find that when this metaphorical tidal wave subsides their business has crumbled. But, it is what it is.
When it all boils down, as long as we survive this catastrophe and live to talk about it, that is all that really matters. Isn’t it?