BaubleBar, which was founded in 2011, began its business as an online jewelry retailer. Recently, however, the company announced plans to open its own physical brick ad mortar locations, the first of which will be in Long Island Roosevelt Field Mall in New York.
Initially acting solely as an e-commerce company, BaubleBar partnered with both Anthropologie and Nordstrom early last year in 2014. With success selling through these outlets, it makes sense that the company has now decided to open its own physical locations.
The important topic to focus on from this particular news is one that revolves around e-commerce expansion. In our digital age, many companies initially start out online and then continue expansion by opening physical locations (like BaubleBar has decided to do), or by diversifying their company and moving into other spaces and industries. One example that has expanded its e-commerce business, is Nasty Gal, founded in 2006, which opened its first brick and mortar location late last year, in November 2014, on Melrose Avenue. Similarly, Birchbox, a beauty products subscription based company, along with Rent the Runway, a designer clothing rental service, and some other companies, have all opened physical locations. Their decisions were based on customers asking for a physical location.
It’s interesting to think about e-commerce based businesses expansion. Online shopping continues to rise, with an expected increase in 2015 of shares in the total retail market, and customers are growing more accustomed to buying products and services online, making e-commerce business attractive to many. In the business side of things, e-commerce is attractive in that it costs less to operate than overseeing a physical location. For the companies mentioned above, starting out with e-commerce posed a lesser ris, than if they had initially started out with physical locations. It may be smart to look towards these companies, such as Baublebar, Birchbox, and Rent the Runway, as a potential business model to imitate.