Why Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop is ‘Going Mass’thedigitalchaps


Close your eyes for a moment and try to picture Gwyneth Paltrow, high priestess of bone broth lunches and bee sting therapy, shopping at Target.

You can’t.

The founder of Goop, the lifestyle e-commerce company she launched in newsletter form in 2008, is a human advertisement for first-class living; a picture of unattainable perfection. Likewise, Goop has always centered around exclusivity, hawking luxury items at luxury prices. And yet, Target, that massive, fluorescent-lit discount chain, is where Goop’s latest line of beauty and wellness products can be found.

Paltrow is even insisting she likes the place. “I’ve been spending a lot more time in Target lately, just looking at the breadth of what’s available,” she recently claimed in an interview with Bustle. “They have cool spins on things, and they seem to care about aesthetics.”

In a first for Goop, good.clean.goop, the company’s new slate of everyday skincare staples—available on Amazon, in addition to the Target aisles Paltrow says she’s grown to love so much—is affordably priced. The most expensive product, the Healthy Aging serum, costs $39.99. You can snag the Daily Juice facial cleanser for just under $20.

True to Paltrow form, all of the line’s products are vegan and cruelty-free, and incorporate ingredient categories with kooky names: “cleanical” (dermatologist-approved substances like hyaluronic acid), “botanical” (plant-based stuff), and “superfood” (you know, like, saffron or whatever).

“This line is actually something that we ideated really early… maybe 10 years ago,” Paltrow, who became Goop’s CEO in 2017, told Bustle. “We liked the idea of democratizing clean skincare.”

It’s a big pivot, because to date, Goop has always found success by rigorously adhering to Gwyneth’s Law of Luxury. Sure, the brand offers waves to the little people with (still very pricey) wellness summits and a steady stream of Instagram content. But make no mistake: delirious out-of-touch-ness is the point of the whole business.

Paltrow’s early, bloggy newsletter entries—there were four-star-restaurant recommendations and rhapsodies over deodorant you could only find at French pharmacies—are the blueprint for Goop’s breathless website copy. On the site today, you can browse through $2,000 ergometer rowing machines, $15,000 backgammon sets, and perfumes made by “a lifestyle fragrance brand that started as a hotel.”

Now in its 15th year, Goop has its hand in many pots. There’s a Goop Label fashion line, Goop Fragrance perfumes, a menu of fitness sessions called G. Sport Sessions, and even a furniture line (CB2 x goop). Per recent reports, the company is valued at around $250 million.

But over time, skincare has emerged as its most successful venture. Goop skincare made up 64 percent of the brand’s sales in 2022. Until the friendly and accessible good.clean.goop came along in October, the beauty sector products offered by Goop were all as fancy as everything else on the site.

In 2016, Goop’s first skincare line, Goop by Juice Beauty, was unveiled alongside a Paltrow profile in Vogue. The vibes, overall, were white-glove. “Organic beauty felt like the right place for us because I think there’s a white space in premium organic product,” former Goop CEO Lisa Gersh sniffed to Fashionista at the launch, which introduced a $140 Replenishing Night Cream and a $90 Luminous Melting Cleanser to an audience of well-heeled editors.

The Goop Wellness line of $90 vitamin and supplement regimens followed in 2017, and moved $100,000 worth of product on its first day, Fast Company reported.

But for good.clean.goop, Paltrow ditched Vogue and all its snooty Condé Nast prestige, instead choosing clickbait-y online women’s mag Bustle for her product launch pad.

“Good.clean.goop is for a person who understands about the dangers that are in conventional products, somebody who is wellness-focused,” Paltrow told Bustle last month of the line’s target audience. “I think from a values perspective and a lifestyle perspective, they’re probably similar [to someone who might buy Goop Beauty]. It’s just that the line is more affordable.”

But why these products, and why now? Paltrow didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to hawk Brain Boost Daily Chews to Target moms on a whim, did she?

The dramatic trajectory of millennial skincare brand Glossier may provide some clues.

In the halcyon days of Glossier, when the company was valued at $2 billion, founder Emily Weiss insisted that Glossier products would only ever be sold at Glossier flagship stores and on its website. But after sales sputtered and Weiss stepped down as CEO—meaning VC funding was no longer flooding in to sustain the brand—Glossier changed its strategy, launched a deodorant, and made its products available at the multinational beauty retailer Sephora.

In other words, it’s obvious that Glossier went mass—a strategy in complete opposition to its direct-to-consumer origins—in the hopes of courting a potential acquisition. Could the same scheme be brewing at Goop, with its heel-turn decision to sell products in the approachable aisles of big-box Target?

Not yet, according to Paltrow—she told Bustle, “We’re not ready to sell yet. I need a few more years.” (Goop and Paltrow did not return The Daily Beast’s request for comment.)

Plus, she and her team have a ways to go: The company is not yet profitable. But if Goop aims to become so in the hopes of earning a buyout, branching out into retail with affordable, mass-market skincare, the company’s most lucrative product category, could move the needle.

Unlike fellow charismatic CEO Weiss, who departed Glossier rather than see it stray from her vision, Paltrow seems to be fully embracing the retail frontier, and Goop’s deviation from its origins. “They call it ‘masstige’ in the industry,” she recently told People, describing good.clean.goop’s price point. “I love that word, between mass and prestige. We set out to create this, and it’s been so much fun.”

But Paltrow is also famous enough, and rich enough, to do whatever she wants. Since she’s practically synonymous with the company she created, that could pose a problem.

“Maybe you could make a dramatic exit on your 55th birthday,” Bustle joked to the now-51-year-old actress.

“I’d be happy with that,” Paltrow returned. “I will literally disappear from public life. No one will ever see me again.”

And how, then, would Goop carry on? By that time, with a possible few years of mass-market availability under its formerly designer belt, it might not matter; Goop will be for everyone.


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