As we grow Glossier, we are realizing that building a company is a little like going through puberty—we’re growing up, which is cool, but sometimes it’s a bit awkward.
If you’ve been to Glossier.com recently, you’ve probably noticed that quite a few of our products are sold out. On Instagram, in the ITG comments, through gTEAM emails, we hear your frustration that you can’t buy what you want, when you want.
As ever, we’re focused on creating products and conversations that have led many of you to incorporate Glossier into your routines and recommend it to your friends. First of all, thank you. Please don't stop! That being said, nothing makes us sadder than when you and your coworkers/sisters/followers want our products and we can’t deliver. We're really sorry. It sucks.
We also wanted to explain why we’re sold out of so many things, and what we’re doing to fix this problem ASAP—in case you're interested in going underneath the hood and understanding why this has been happening.
The short answer is this: there's been an overwhelming demand that's led to us selling through almost 12 months worth of products in the first three months of this year.
"Good for you!" You might be saying, "But why does it take so damn long to restock?"
The truth is, beauty products take a crazy long time to make.
For some context, part of the reason we’ve had trouble keeping enough inventory in stock is because of how we produce our products. In order to get everything up to our standards and yours, we spend a lot of time focusing on the right ingredients in the right formulation with the right feel. That often means many rounds of testing, followed by long lead times (up to eight months!) between batches. Couple that with selling more than we expect, and what you’re left with is a waiting period.
It's not fair for us to ask you to try something new and then not have it ready when it’s time for a refill. So the first thing we’re already doing to solve this problem is simply ordering more—of everything. This involves us putting our neck out on the line and taking a bet by investing a lot of our money, which is scary, but it's worth it.
Secondly, we‘re working hard to reduce lead times. We’re exploring how we can buy and store packaging and raw ingredients so that we have them on hand, ready to make fresh batches of everything from Boy Brow to Milky Jelly.
Finally, we are investing in technology so that we can both gather more data to plan effectively and create better experiences for you in the event that we are ever sold out. (For instance, the ability to backorder something so it’ll ship immediately once it’s available is a recent development.)
As for the sold-out products you’ve come to love (and would now like to repurchase), here’s the outlook: we’re working to restock the Stretch Concealer and our Generation G Lipsticks in all four shades this July; Perfecting Skin Tint in Light and Medium will follow shortly. (In the meantime, you can sign up for the product waitlists to be notified the moment they’re available again—just follow the links above.) Come July, expect fewer "Sold Out" signs, for shorter periods of time. We hope that you'll bear with us in the meantime, and continue to support Glossier. We couldn't (and wouldn't) do it without you.
Photo via Glossier.
More behind-the-scenes stories from Glossier HQ can be found over here.