Glam In the News: WWD Covers Glamsquad x QVC Product Debut
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Glamsquad Preps for QVC Product Debut as In-home Beauty Services Remain Stopped
Though planned well in advance of the coronavirus pandemic, the foray into retail is fortuitous timing for the on-demand beauty service app.
Glamsquad is broadening the reach of its products business with a launch on QVC.
While the launch was planned out several months prior to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., the timing couldn’t be more fortuitous. The core of Glamsquad’s business is on-demand, at-home beauty services, which are difficult to access for the time being due to government-sanctioned closures of nonessential businesses.
While chief executive officer Amy Shecter told WWD that there is no specific date in mind yet for when Glamsquad will be able to resume in-home services — though she does intend to resume them once local governments deem it safe — the QVC launch is part of the company’s larger strategic vision to transform Glamsquad from service app to beauty lifestyle brand.
Several of Glamsquad’s most popular hair and makeup products, including the Untamed Texturizing Hair Spray, Take a Tint Lip Balm and Iconic Blowout Styling Lotion will be available for sale starting May 19 on-air on QVC and on QVC.com. The on-air segment will feature Glamsquad’s creative directors, Giovanni Vaccaro and Kelli J. Bartlett, demonstrating how to use the products for at-home blowouts, hairstyling and makeup application.
“I felt it was a good fit for the QVC customer,” said Rob Robillard, vice president of integrated beauty merchandising at Qurate Retail Group. “The brand stands for services, and as we transition to a self-service model, I love how they are going to translate for women [how to perform service on themselves] at home.”
Glamsquad also theoretically brings a younger consumer base to shop for its products on QVC. “We have a young, hip clientele — it’s a win-win for both of us,” said Shecter.
For Glamsquad, QVC offers an opportunity to reach consumers outside its key markets. Glamsquad is only operational in major cities such New York, Los Angeles, South Florida, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
QVC is Glamsquad’s first foray into retail. Prior to this launch, products were sold only via the Glamsquad app.
Glamsquad launched its hair-product line in December of 2018, and makeup followed in the spring of 2019. The products were developed with the help of anecdotes from Glamsquad’s services team and and customers — they are meant to fill white spaces as products artists wish they had in their kits and consumers wish they could buy.
Shecter wouldn’t comment on how significant product sales have been for Glamsquad’s overall business, but they are undoubtedly increasingly important now that the company is no longer able to dispatch makeup artists, hairstylists and nail techs to customers’ homes. In the meantime, Glamsquad has launched a “virtual services” menu, which Shecter said was overwhelmingly asked for by frequent Glamsquad users who want to do blowouts or full-face makeup applications at home.
Glamsquad products will be available exclusively in QVC through 2020, after which Shecter said the brand will explore a partnership with a brick-and-mortar retailer. Glamsquad also operates a diffusion line, GSQ, sold at CVS, which she said has done exceedingly well since launching in the fall.
At QVC, beauty sales are seeing growth due to a massive migration of consumers buying products online. On Qurate Retail Group’s first-quarter earnings call, ceo Mike George called the category out as one of the many, along with kitchen and home appliances, experiencing growth at the mulitplatform retailer. Robillard told WWD that self-care items, nail and hair care, and self-tanning products are up. He noted that color cosmetics, after an initial lull, is beginning to improve.