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Profit & Glossier

emily weiss kyle leahy glossier
Glossier is no longer a startup, and it needs the support of a parentco that can scale its Sephora business, facilitate its entrance into new retailers, and extend its global footprint. Courtesy of Glossier
Rachel Strugatz
March 13, 2024

A decade ago, as you will recall, Glossier was a supernova in the beauty business. Founder Emily Weiss shook up the go-to distribution model by only selling her products online via the company’s site and in a handful of its own stores, and the brand zagged with its marketing strategies and tactics, like encouraging customers to be the best version of themselves versus trying to look like supermodels. This all led, of course, to enormous and insurmountable hype (investments from Forerunner, Thrive, Index, and Sequoia, $266 million all in) and expectations (that gaudy $1.8 billion Series E valuation in 2021) as the direct-to-consumer industry sagged. 

In its second life, after a few tumultuous years of declining sales and lots of layoffs, Glossier has turned a corner thanks to newish C.E.O. Kyle Leahy, a massive wholesale rollout at Sephora, the ditching of an expensive in-house tech platform, and a renewed focus on product development. Now, Glossier is considering an exit, and it has hired a bank to serve as a financial adviser. “No formal process is happening yet,” a source said, but people familiar with the matter say Glossier is at a place where it could “benefit from a transition in ownership.”