Store Spotlight: Groomed x Blesswell

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12/16/2021
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blesswell store

Pop-up concept stores have continued to gain traction in recent years, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic forced brands and retailers to adapt store formats for optimum agility. Pop-up retail experiences can fill several brand needs and boost consumer engagement and awareness without needing to place significant investment into permanent brick-and-mortar locations before testing the market. They also offer a unique opportunity for brands to launch new products or services, experiment with new partnerships or bring consumers back to stores. Pop-up experiences are most popular for emerging or digitally-native brands, often focused on creating consumer awareness and loyalty as well as engaging consumers.

Khaled Mohamed Khaled (better known as DJ Khaled) recently tested the pop-up shop waters to introduce his new CBD-infused skincare brand Blesswell to Chicagoans and tourists through an “immersive, ultra-luxe self-care experience.” Groomed x Blesswell first opened on Sept. 29 at IHG Hotels & Resorts’ Kimpton Gray Hotel storefront in Chicago’s financial district, originally slated to live through Oct. 23. Due to strong early success with reservations completely booked, the pop-up relaunched in November after briefly closing in October, and extended its stay into the holidays through Dec. 31. Path to Purchase IQ took a closer look at the store-within-a-hotel experience.

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blesswell store

Located near the intersection of Monroe and LaSalle streets in Chicago, the Kimpton resides in a historic high-rise building with a modern luxe interior. Upon entering, guests and shoppers are greeted with a desk depicting a “Hello, Chicago” message with an illuminated sign. A QR code depicted on a floor decal in front of the desk invites guests to scan it for a welcome message from DJ Khaled himself via YouTube.

 

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blesswell store

Another interesting element of the pop-up shop features a quote from Blesswell’s celebrity co-founder Khaled. A large piece of wall art quoting the Grammy-winning artist turned inspirer of good vibes reads: “Aside from love and family, health and wellness are our greatest blessings. That’s the key.” In addition to providing plenty of “Instagrammable” moments, Groomed x Blesswell also offers lounge seating with gaming, and a bar serving up Beam Suntory’s Jim Beam highballs, Hornitos seltzers and On The Rocks Cocktails.

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blesswell store

In addition to offering branded Blesswell products, the experience’s primary offering is its complimentary grooming services, including cuts, shaves and facials using Blesswell products. Consumers can make appointments for a service through a dedicated microsite or via walk-in to experience the shop.

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blesswell store

The open space mimics a modern barbershop with two “state-of-the-art” grooming stations. Award-winning barber JC Tha Barber, alongside some of Chicago’s very own barbers that are part of the Anti Broke Barbers Club, rotate in and out of the shop to provide services and share tips and trends related to the CBD-infused line.

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blesswell store

The full collection of Blesswell products — including a blue charcoal face mask, conditioning beard oil, daily moisturizer, facial cleansing scrubs and an ultimate shave cream, as well as branded merchandise like hoodies — is available for purchase on-site. Product presentation is minimal, with product sporadically merchandised throughout the store, including on a floating shelf/illuminated art installation communicating a “Live Well Love Well Bless Well” message. A wall display and rack serve as a product merchandising wall similar to those found in a salon or barbershop.

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blesswell website

Blesswell was developed in partnership with Endexx Corp.’s CBD Unlimited operating division and launched back in May exclusively at Blesswell.co. The company plans to bring the pop-up experience to other cities across the country in 2022. Impact Brokers, a Miami-based agency specializing in CBD brands, heads up Blesswell’s sales and integrated marketing efforts, including the pop-up. As the self-care market continues to grow, particularly among younger consumers, wellness and grooming is one emerging subcategory. DJ Khaled’s CBD line is just another example of how DTC brands are experimenting with pop-up spaces in this expanding market.

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