Glamsquad has earned the “Uber of beauty” reputation by offering on-demand hair, nail and makeup services from beauty professionals since launching in 2014. While speedy, in-home styling sessions have been a draw for its core customer, women 35 and up, the online DTC brand did the opposite of what it’s known for to reach Gen Z—it went brick-and-mortar.
Onstage at Adweek’s Challenger Brands Summit in New York with departments editor Ko Im, Glamsquad CEO Amy Shecter discussed how the brand’s partnership with CVS Pharmacy has provided a new outlet for growth, specifically with consumers age 18 to 25. In fall 2019, Glamsquad teamed with the retail company to launch GSQ by Glamsquad, a venture that includes selling the brand’s original beauty products and pop-up service bars in stores.
“We were in conversation with a lot of people for where to go with a brick-and-mortar endeavor, and we saw a void in the lower market,” Shecter said. “We wanted to democratize our services at a price point that wouldn’t compete with Glamsquad. We want to provide an ecosystem of pushing Glamsquad services at home and pushing GSQ at an entry price point.”
GSQ by Glamsquad is currently in some 50 CVS stores in markets like New York, Miami, Boston and Los Angeles. According to Shecter, the GSQ sections sell around 50 beauty products, with plans to add 25 more this year.
There are also 10 CVS service bars in renovated stores that offer 30-minute sessions for $30. At the pop-ups, guests can request anything from quick blowouts and dry styling to full makeup applications.
The brand’s in-home option typically ranges from $35 to $150 depending on the Glamsquad session. According to Shecter, core customers on average spend between $5,000 and $35,000 per year on services.
Shecter said the brand is also exploring new ways to promote its products and services on TikTok, noting they’ve found that “Instagram is old news” from conducting Gen Z focus groups.
“We’re a brand that has transformed from services-only company to services and products and a partnership,” she said. “This ecosystem we believe is an incredible opportunity to drive each part of our business.”
While Glamsquad’s new retail venture is important to the brand, Shecter noted that it still prides itself on in-home customization and foresees revenue in the next few years as 60% services, 40% product. The brand employs around 2,000 beauty pros, each with more than eight years of experience, in six U.S. markets. Through partnerships, the brand has also brought its pros to provide services at events like the U.S. Open, New York Fashion Week, Art Basel and the Grammys.
“We have a certain level of expertise in luxury that our consumers expect,” she said. “We always said we want to be known as a lifestyle brand that consumers are attracted to.”