Are new brick and mortar solutions the key to digital brand growth?
A few more communal retail spots have arrived in recent months to join a growing crop of places offering turnkey solutions to support digital natives’ journey to physical retail.
In December, a four-story brick and mortar retail concept called SHOWFIELDS, “bringing digitally native brands to life with customized flagship spaces” opened in lower Manhattan.
So far, only the first floor has opened with a focus on wellness brands. Most of the 11 tenants offer testing and trial in Instagramable settings.
The first floor also houses The Den, a space for rotating cultural programming. In 2019, the second floor will open with home brands, the third with fashion brands and the fourth will be a community-centered co-working and programming space. Food and drink will be available.
For digital brands, a six-step online process helps configure the size of their space, the length of their stay and staffing requirements. A monthly fee is required.
In November, Macerich, the mall owner, opened BrandBox in Tysons Corner Center outside Washington, D.C. after recognizing that “digitally native brands are a key part of the future retail landscape and require a more flexible approach to traditional real estate.”
The 11,000-square-foot space will house six rotating brands with the focus on flexible space and lease terms. Macerich will also help with design and buildout, staffing, social and experiential marketing. Tenants will also have access to an analytics dashboard.
Matt Scanlan, co-founder and CEO of Naadam, an apparel start-up, told CNBC that Macerich “set us up with retail technologies and subscription software that are normally inefficient to install for a pop-up but can be transformative in terms of learnings.”
Macerich plans to expand BrandBox to its malls in Santa Monica, Philadelphia and Scottsdale.
Other physical places supporting digital brands include b8ta with 14 stores across the country, The Market @ Macy’s inside select Macy’s locations, Neighborhood Goods in Plano, TX; Fourpost at Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada; “The Edit” from mall-operator Simon at Roosevelt Field Mall; and the just-opened The Gathering Shops at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ.
- The Most Interesting Store In The World Opens Today On Bond Street – SHOWFIELDS/PRNewswire
- ‘The Most Interesting Store In The World’ Pops Up In New York City – Forbes
- Showfields Co-Founder Wants to Make Brick-and-Mortar Easy for Digital Brands – Cheddar.com
- Macerich Launches BrandBox To Bridge Digital And Physical Retail – Macerich/PRNewswire
- One part store, one part lab: Mall – CNBC
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you see as the biggest benefit that turnkey marketplaces offer digital brands as they transition to physical retail? What is needed for these rotating, digital-native led marketplaces to click with consumers, as well?