Beauty & Balance

Bluemercury: 20 Years of Growth

1999:
Marla and Barry Beck open Bluemercury as a start-up e-commerce site, with $1 million in seed money.
2000:
The Becks learn the world isn’t quite ready for a beauty e-tailer. Bluemercury’s first retail store opens, in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. (A Harvard Business School study credits the company with coining the term “clicks to bricks.”)
2001:
Store number three opens, in Philadelphia — the first outside of the D.C. market.
2004:
Bluemercury serves its one-millionth customer and opens its first spa, a 10,000-square-foot location at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
2005:
The Becks partner with private equity investor Invus Group to close the deal on a growth capital investment. Store number 10 opens, this one in Westfield, N.J.
2007:
Bluemercury sells its one-millionth lipstick and opens its first California store, in Corte Madera.
2008:
If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere: Bluemercury’s first New York City store opens on the Upper West Side.
2010:
The retailer acquires the U.S. operations of Douglas Parfumerie chain.
2012:
After 10 years of research and development, Marla Beck introduces M-61 Powerful Skincare. Later that year, the brand sets a world record with the first serum to successfully ascend Mount Everest.
2013:
M-61’s best-selling PowerGlow Peel, a one-minute, one-step exfoliating peel pad, launches. By 2018, one pad is sold every 2.4 seconds.
2014:
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the company, Washington, D.C.’s city council declares Sept. 15 “Bluemercury Day.”
2015:
Macy’s buys Bluemercury for $210 million — in cash. Marla Beck launches Lune + Aster Cosmetics, a line of vegan makeup.
2016:
Store 100 opens, in Savannah, Ga.
2017:
Bluemercury opens its flagship at the New York Hilton Midtown, featuring AI mirror technology and one-hour delivery in Manhattan. Also that year, Harvard Business School updates its case study on Bluemercury, and invites the Becks to teach the case.
2018:
In a busy year, Leonard A. Lauder presents the Becks with the lifetime achievement award at the New York City Dreamball. Meanwhile, the couple also create the Beck Entrepreneurship Fellows Program at Cornell University, providing funding and support to students who are pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities.
 
2019:
Bluemercury turns 20.
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