Bluemercury is a chain of American beauty stores founded in 1999 by Marla Malcolm Beck and Barry Beck in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. The stores sell cosmetics, as well as in-store facials and spa treatments. In addition to selling products from other brands, the company developed its own M-61 skincare line in 2012 and Lune+Aster make-up line in 2015.

Founded1999 in Washington, D.C.
FoundersBarry, Marla Beck
Number of locations
162[1] (FY 2020)
BrandsM-61, Lune+Aster
ParentMacy's Inc.
WebsiteOfficial website

The company was acquired in 2015 by Macy's, which opened in-store Bluemercury shops in its department stores, as well as expanding the number of free-standing stores.


Bluemercury was founded in 1999 as an online shopping website for luxury cosmetics. [2] The co-founders Marla Malcolm (later Marla Malcolm Beck) became CEO and Barry Beck became COO.[3][4][5] However, luxury brands that Bluemercury courted were unsure whether they wanted to sell their goods on the internet, while consumers were not accustomed to buying cosmetics without trying them first.[6]

The couple found two struggling independent beauty boutiques in Georgetown and Dupont Circle called EFX, which they used to help fill their online orders. They bought and rebranded the stores "Bluemercury," converting them to their developing concept, a neighborhood store offering beauty products, personalized advice and samples.[7]

By 2006, Bluemercury was generating $17 million in annual revenue and operated 12 stores.[8] In June 2006 the Becks sold a stake in the company to the private-equity firm Invus Group.[8][9]

Macy's acquisitionEdit

In 2015 the Becks sold the company to Macy's Inc. for $210 million, while retaining their positions as CEO and COO.[7] [8] Macy's added Bluemercury stores, called "shop-in-shops", inside some of its own department stores; the first, three in California and one in Houston, were launched in 2016.[10] As of January 31, 2021, there are 20 Macy's locations that feature a Bluemercury store-within-store.[11]

Retail storesEdit

Bluemercury stores are designed to be small, drugstore-like shops near residential and business areas.[12] Each store location has a spa and provides other services.[6] The stores' collection of brands includes Nars, Bobbi Brown, and Laura Mercier, among others.[4][13][14]

In 2016, the company opened its 100th store, in Savannah, Georgia. At 2,400 square feet, it was their first entry into a larger store-size retail format.[15] In 2017 the company opened a 2,700 square-foot flagship store in Manhattan, its 145th store.[16]


Bluemercury opened its own cosmetics design laboratory, M-61 Laboratories, in 2006.[17] In 2015 the company launched Lune+Aster. The company's cosmetics are not tested on animals; are paraben-free and phthalate-free; and most are vitamin-infused, vegan, and gluten-free.[18]


  1. ^ "Store Count and Square Footage". Macy's, Inc. Retrieved 2021-02-23.
  2. ^ Decker, Vivienne. "Marla Malcolm Beck Sold Bluemercury To Macy's For $210 Million, Now She's Betting On Vegan Cosmetics". Forbes. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  3. ^ Zumbach, Lauren. "Bluemercury founder taking neighborhood approach to luxury beauty, spa service sales". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b Lieber, Chavie. "How Marla Malcolm Beck Went from One Bluemercury Location to a $210 Million Macy's Deal". Racked. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  5. ^ Dunn, Laura Emily. "Women in Business Q&A: Marla Beck, CEO, Bluemercury". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b Wahba, Phil. "How Macy's Is Turning Beauty Store Bluemercury Into Its Secret Weapon". Fortune. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
  7. ^ a b Bhattarai, Abha. "With Macy's acquisition, Georgetown beauty company becomes a beast". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Weisul, Kimberly. "How to Sell Your Business--and Keep It Too". Inc Magazine. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  9. ^ Fernandez, Chantal. "Macy's Buys Sephora Competitor Bluemercury". Fashionista. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  10. ^ Shatzman, Celia. "Bluemercury Founder Barry Beck On His New Flagship, Makeup For Men & Their AI Mirror". Forbes. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Macy's Inc. Store Count 2020".
  12. ^ Magsaysay, Melissa. "Beauty chain Bluemercury is placing its bets on L.A.'s skin-care-obsessed culture". LA Times. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  13. ^ Wu, Sarah. "5 Tips On Business And Beauty From Bluemercury CEO Marla Malcolm Beck". Forbes. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  14. ^ Volpe, Lynden. "An Inside Look at Bluemercury with Marla Malcolm Beck". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Bluemercury opens its 100th store on Broughton St". WTOC. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  16. ^ Strugatz, Rachel. "Digital Download: Bluemercury Opens Flagship in New York, Unveils Digital Hub". WWD. Retrieved 20 July 2017.
  17. ^ Hoshikawa, Karina. "How Bluemercury's Marla Malcolm Beck Turned Her Passion For Beauty Into A Multi-Million Dollar Career". Fashionista. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  18. ^ Fickenscher, Lisa. "Macy's strikes gold with Bluemercury's growth". New York Post. Retrieved 19 August 2016.

External linksEdit