To all the haters who say D.C.’s fashion and beauty scene is non-existent: pipe down. Local beauty company Bluemercury effectively dropped the mic this February when they announced their acquisition by Macy’s for $210 million.
Bluemercury’s shopping experience is similar to Sephora’s. Different makeup and skincare brands are housed in the same retail space and customers are invited to experiment with products. But Bluemercury feels more sophisticated than their major competitor.
Make no mistake—Bluemercury isn’t a new kid on the block. They’ve been around since the late ’90s and expanded from an online-only venture to brick and mortar locations in 18 states. The Macy’s deal means Bluemercury now has access to even better ecommerce resources.
But as it continues to grow, will the beauty chain lose sight of the things that made it special in the first place? Part of the company’s appeal for D.C. customers is it allows hands-on access to high-quality beauty brands and products (think Chanel and Bobbi Brown) without the hassle of a visit to a makeup counter in a suburban mall (of which there are plenty in the region). Bluemercury sales associates are known for their product knowledge, makeup application skills, and customer service. It remains to be seen whether the Macy’s takeover will make for a watered-down Bluemercury shopping experience.
All this change on the business side of the company means your mom might soon be shopping at a Bluemercury store in your hometown rather than stocking up when she comes to visit. You’ll still be able to claim insider bragging rights (“I knew about that years ago!”) when your friends start to rave about Bluemercury’s excellent hard-to-find brands, including CANE + AUSTIN, Ren, and others. And the company’s headquarters will remain in D.C., which means #ThisTown is now officially a beauty capital.