Beauty site Birchbox buys its French ‘belle amie’ Joliebox

Beauty subscription service Birchbox has acquired its Parisian equivalent, JolieBox. The deal extends the perfume-scented reach of Birchbox’s platform in Europe and expands its repertoire of partnerships.

JolieBox is based in France and with distribution in the U.K, and Spain as well. The company offers a basically identical product and business model to Birchbox, which founder Katia Beauchamp said should make for a harmonious combination. Like rose and jasmine.

Birchbox has met with tremendous success for its innovative approach to e-commerce. Cosmetics lovers sign up for a monthly subscription service that costs $10 a month. Once invited into the community, members receive a customized box each month filled with beauty samples from over 200 top brands, like Lancome, Kiehl’s, and Dior. If customers fall in love with a product, ladies (and now men too) can purchase the full-size through the Birchbox store.

This system solves one of the challenges with bringing the cosmetics industry online. Consumers like to sample, apply, sniff, and see a product to decide if it is right for them. Quality cosmetics are costly, and it’s important to try products out before purchasing. Furthermore, an overwhelming array of beauty goodies are out there, as anyone who has ever stepped into Sephora can attest to, and the discovery and sampling experience is half the fun.

Beauchamp and her partner Haylay met at Harvard Business School and brought together their mutual love of cosmetics and business savvy to create a model that is not only convenient but delightful for the user (I speak from experience). Companies love Birchbox because it puts their product literally on the bodies of active consumers and promotes sales.

Their example has inspired a parade of similar companies. You can find “Birchboxes” for everything now, from children’s clothing to adult toys.

The platform also publishes editorial content to complement the products and in April launched Birchbox for Men. It raised $10.5 million in investment last year, led by Accel Partners. Birchbox is based in New York.

Read the press release.

blog comments powered by Disqus