C.O. Bigelow, specialists in skin care and beauty products, are Radisson RED’s chosen amenity partner. Ian Ginsberg, C.O. Bigelow owner gives us an insight into what drives the brand and its key to success.
Ian Ginsberg is the third generation pharmacist and owner of C.O. Bigelow, the oldest apothecary in America. After becoming a licensed pharmacist in 1985, Ian set out to create his own niche within the family business at C.O. Bigelow. He began to work on ways to improve and expand the store’s beauty and personal care business. He started by obtaining an extremely knowledgeable staff, which he believes is the heart and soul of any business.
C.O. Bigelow is the oldest surviving apothecary–pharmacy in the U.S.A – please tell us a bit more about your history and secret to success.
Since 1838, C.O. Bigelow has been serving our customers and giving them the personalized attention that they deserve which helps us keep their trust and dedication to coming back all these years. Our core values remain at being honest, genuine and trustworthy. Each product we sell and the way in which we treat our customers are true to each of those values.
As a brand that dates back to the 1800’s it must have been challenging to move with the different expectations and aspirations of your customers. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?
Keeping up with the modern day changes, while maintaining C.O. Bigelow’s traditional values and customs can take some adjustments, however, I realize that our values are more important than the latest beauty product or current of-the-moment trend, so if a brand doesn’t fit within our core values, then we just won’t offer it within our space.
Have your brand values had to adapt too? Or have these remained strong throughout the years?
Our core brand values have remained strong over the years. The words Honest, Genuine and Trustworthy are seen throughout the store. Since the beginning of our time, we have given our customers personal attention and care which established our credibility and we are dedicated to continuing to honor this approach.
You clearly succeeded in meeting your customers’ expectations as due to its longevity and popularity, C.O. Bigelow was honored with a Village Award. Please can you tell us more about the award and what this means to the business?
The Village Award is presented by the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation to those that make a contribution to the quality of life in Greenwich Village, the East Village and NoHo. Being recognized for our longstanding and impact on the community was a true honor.
You’ve always tried to be that little bit bolder and more unique than your rivals, how has this been achieved?
We are constantly scouring the globe for new and unique products to offer in our store. Our customers appreciate not only the new products, but also those brands that have a rich heritage, so we make a priority of having unique products that you simply can’t find anywhere else.
When travelling which beauty product is the one you ALWAYS take away with you?
C.O. Bigelow Bay Rum Hair & Body Wash and Marvis Licrorice Toothpaste (travel size).
If C.O Bigelow was a city which would it be and why?
If C.O. Bigelow was a city, it would have to be NYC- where else, right! The same pulse and energy and eclectic mix NYC has as does our pharmacy, we serve the neighborhood locals and all the colorful characters that have lived in Greenwich Village and downtown NYC for decades as well as actors, models and rock stars.
Finally, why do you think Radisson RED and C.O Bigelow make a great match?
Radisson RED and C.O. Bigelow make a great match because they are two companies that stay true to the master brand’s original values, but adapt with the modern times. The customer retention is high and we both establish personal relationships with our customers and employees to establish dedication, devotion and longstanding partnerships across the board.