Supergoop is trying its hand at physical retail.
The 12-year-old sunscreen brand sells in approximately 1,700 stores globally, through wholesale partnerships with Sephora, Nordstrom and Bluemercury. On May 3, it will open its first standalone pop-up, in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. This comes on the heels of a successful 2018, when Supergoop more than doubled its year-over-year revenue to $40 million, according to the brand.
“We see the pop-up as an education opportunity. Education is something we lead with on our site and on social, and even when we partner with an influencer and communicate with retail partners,” said Thaggard. “This gives us uncharted territory to talk to our customers directly and continue to build the [sun-care] category.”
By and large, the pop-up will mirror Supergoop.com’s “Sun 101” blog. Thaggard will lead a skin-cancer and sunscreen myth-busting classroom session, and customers will be able to receive one-on-one SPF consultations with Supergoop’s sales associates and participate in a “choose-your-own adventure” decision tree that details consumer’s sunscreen habits and guides them through relevant events at the pop-up .
Of course, the brand’s best-selling products will also be for sale, including its Unseen Sunscreen and Smooth and Poreless 100% Mineral Matte Screen, as well as its newer, more beauty-centric offerings, like its Shimmershade eyeshadow and its Poof Part Powder, the latter of which serves as dry shampoo and was the brand’s No. 1 most-requested product from customers prior to its launch. Both items contain SPF and debuted in March. Multipurpose SPF products are sought to boost the overall global sun-care market, according to Transparency Market Research: The category is expected to grow by nearly 6%, by 2024 and be valued at almost $25 billion.
Amanda Baldwin, Supergoop’s president, said many of the brand’s most engaged social posts also follow the “Sun 101” model. For instance, an in-feed Instagram post from February matching a customer’s skin concerns with Supergoop product had over 21,000 views, while another stating, “SPF 15 in your moisturizer doesn’t count,” had over 4,200 views. The brand has 145,000 followers on the platform and over 53,000 on Facebook. “I imagine we are going to learn a lot more about our customers and what they need more than we have ever before through the pop-up. We see it as learning from them, as much as they are learning from us,” she said.
Arguably, Supergoop’s education-led playbook positions is to grow its business on its own direct-to-consumer channel, much like Wander Beauty, which opened its first pop-up last week. Supergoop would not detail its split between third-party and its DTC site: Baldwin said its e-commerce site (which debuted at in 2010) grew 400% year-over-year in 2018 and would not disclose how fast its third-party partnerships are increasing.
Supergoop will be messaging the pop-up on its social channels, as well as through its email subscriber list. Baldwin would not disclose the size of its newsletter base, but said 15% of the pool resides in the New York area — making it its top market – and they were first informed of the pop-up earlier this month.
Though plans for a Supergoop pop-up outside of New York have not yet been decided, Thaggard said understanding key markets and concerns are key to the brand as it continues to grow this year.
“We are not a one-size-fits-all brand, and our product innovation pipeline for the next five years really is about understanding why each product makes sense for different customers,” she said. “Sunscreen was historically a very sleepy category because products weren’t made for different customers in mind. That’s what we are trying to do.”