I am holding the product of legend in my hand: a Gwyneth Paltrow-approved jade egg. The Yoni Egg – which Paltrow’s wellness brand Goop once recommended women insert in their vaginas to improve muscle tone – is now available to buy in Goop’s first UK store, which has opened in London’s Notting Hill.
The egg’s brown box packaging is simple and makes no overt health claims or references to women’s nether regions. (The advice was slammed by gynaecologists both sides of the Atlantic, and Goop paid $145,000 in penalties to settle a California consumer-protection case after suggesting the product could lead to better sex and regular periods.) But it can still be yours for just £65.
The egg is among a menagerie of pricey products that have made their way from Paltrow’s lifestyle site to the shop’s shelves. It’s nestled in a cabinet next to an eyebrow-raising box labelled “The Goop Medicine Bag”, which contains eight crystals for £76.99 – and nothing else.
If they don’t take your fancy, there’s always “Fur” (oil for pubes) at £44, apple cider vinegar supplement capsules for £22, or “Inner Beauty Powder” for £40.
Elsewhere, the shop is somewhat more subdued. Products spill over four spacious floors, with Goop items interspersed among other brands that align with the website’s aspirational agenda. As well as the floor dedicated to health and beauty, there are two floors for clothing (one for wardrobe staples, one for fitness gear), plus a homeware section.
The latter has an Oliver Bonas-vibe, dominated by copper, pastel shades and marble. It also contains items I would actually buy. For a moment I wonder if this is it: the moment I will become a Goop convert. But then I realise a pack of four coasters costs £40.
The clothing is also beyond my budget, with a nice-but-nothing-to-write-home-about navy coat priced at £1,159. The first sports bra I pick up makes me wince at £95, but to be fair to Goop, I later find another for £37 and leggings for £86 – expensive, but at a more attainable level of treat.
Despite the high price points (and the fact I’ve arrived at 10.30am on a Wednesday morning), the store has a steady stream of customers. Clearly Goop’s clientele do not have to worry about pesky inconveniences such as jobs. These well-dressed women (and it is mainly women) aren’t just here to window shop, either. In the half an hour I’m wandering around, I witness three sales and no doubt miss more.
One staff member, a clear Goop fan, admits he’s been surprised by the number of customers who’ve visited already. “I think we underestimated the area, but that’s also fantastic because when you’re busier no one complains,” he says. “Yesterday it was rammed, everybody seems to be loving the Goop-own products.”
Customers have ranged from the wealthy fashionistas of Notting Hill to Australian tourists: “We’ve also had people who have never heard of the brand but they’re walking by, seeing how busy it is and coming in to experience it,” he adds.
Delphine Lamande-Frearson has made a trip to the store as part of her holiday. She’s currently visiting London from Paris and decided to come in for a browse on the way past after recognising the Goop sign.
“I like it, I just wish they had more American brands. I feel there are a lot of British brands that you can find anywhere else,” she tells me. “I thought some of the products would be more expensive. I think it’s a good cross-section of prices.”
Clearly, as a sceptical 20-something whose paycheck has to cope with more bills than I care to list, I am not Goop’s target market. But I doubt the shop will struggle for business.
If you fancy a visit, if only to giggle at the weird and wonderful products, the store (which was originally a pop-up) is now open permanently on 188 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RH until January 27. Just don’t take the eggs too seriously.