After the fashion and retail sector took a big hit at the start of the pandemic with many brands struggling to adapt to the rapidly changing face of retail and the growing importance of a robust online presence, it seems that we are now already seeing a renewed interest in brick-and-mortar, with even the likes of Amazon announcing in September 2021 their intention to have physical department stores.

Glossier is the latest brand to recognise the importance still played by the brick-and-mortar store in the overall consumer experience, choosing recently to apply to protect their in-store display table as a trade mark in the US.

Rather than this signalling a shift away from online retail, this move seems indicative of a push by fashion brands and retailers to provide an omni-channel experience for consumers. This is certainly what recent trade mark filings seem to suggest, with brands not only looking to bolster their protection for distinctive elements from their physical stores, but also looking at trade mark protection for uniquely online offerings such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and virtual clothing and footwear to be used on social media, in videogames and beyond.

After closing all of its physical retail outposts during the initial onset of the pandemic, Glossier announced this summer that it was looking to get back into the brick-and-mortar business. In a blog post in June, founder Emily Weiss stated that "the world of Glossier is ready to exist again in 3D," and that the company would be opening three new stores...  More recently, Weiss revealed that the company – which closed an $80 million Series E round in July – has been busy "reimagin[ing] the Glossier retail experience," with a focus on "fostering connection, community, and discovery."

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