Fashion jewelry brand BaubleBar announced this week it had raised $20 million in a Series C funding round led by past investors Accel Partners, Greycroft Partners, and Burch Creative Capital. The new funds will likely be used to increase retail presence, which until now has been limited to pop-up stores in 35 Nordstrom locations, New York City, and a mall in Long Island. Co-founders Daniella Yacobovsky and Amy Jain said in an interview that they strongly believe in the power of offline, especially if it is powered by data. “We had previous launched two extremely successful standalone pop-ups in downtown New York City and had wanted to test the mall format as well. We now feel well armed with information to think through what BaubleBar retail should look like.”
Bauble is joining a crop of online-first retailers that have opened up stores after realizing they would boost overall sales. Warby Parker, for example, has expanded to twenty-five stores after experimenting with temporary locations. Rent the Runway started with a pop-up store at Henri Bendel in 2014, and now has four standalone permanent locations. L2’s Death of Pureplay study identifies how physical stores can increase sales – lower shipping costs and easier returns. However, one of the most surprising findings is how foot traffic awareness extends online. Searches for Trunk Club, Proper Cloth, Rent the Runway, and Warby Parker jumped significantly after their first openings.
An effect that continues well after the initial buzz.