New Brookstone concept brings makers to the mall
Brookstone, long known at malls as a place to try and maybe even buy massage chairs, desk toys and other techie curios, is launching a new store concept to bring products from indie “makers” to its shelves.
Brookstone announced the opening of its first Brookstone Makers Showcase in the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, New York earlier this month. The new store is dedicated to products funded by Indiegogo campaigns, things created on collaborative invention platform Quirky, and smaller up-and-coming tech brands. The store concept will give customers a chance to interact with the products, just as they do in traditional Brookstone locations. The retailer plans to roll out more of the Makers Showcase stores in the U.S. and China throughout the year.
The launch of the new concept is happening in conjunction with a new online platform, the Brookstone PLUS Innovation & Retail Platform, a network created to help small vendors bring products to market.
In the past few years, other retailers have demonstrated success bringing maker-created curios to their physical shelves.
Last year, Ace Hardware acquired a majority stake in entrepreneur and inventor-focused website The Grommet. The hardware store has tested a rotating assortment of product from The Grommet on in-store displays in select store locations.
In 2016, Lowe’s Hardware began partnering with try-and-buy tech showroom B8ta to open SmartSpot concept shops within the DIY chain’s stores. In Lowe’s and B8ta’s standalone stores, the showroom enables small, sometimes online-only vendors to demo and sell their products in a physical retail environment.
But Brookstone, unlike Lowe’s or Ace Hardware, is a mall-based business, thereby challenged with the decline in foot traffic malls are experiencing.
The mall where Brookstone is launching the new concept is, however, has begun to establish a reputation for innovation, and perhaps Makers Showcase can serve as another draw. Last year Roosevelt Field Mall launched its well-received Edit@Roosevelt Field concept — a space dedicated to hosting a rotating lineup of pop-ups, mainly for online-only brands.
- Brookstone Launches New Retail Platform Featuring Best of Crowdfunding and New Tech from Around the World – Brookstone
- Is Ace on brand with Grommet acquisition? – RetailWire
- Does the Internet of Things need a showroom experience? – RetailWire
- A mall carves out pop-up space for online brands – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will a mall-based brand like Brookstone be able to reinvigorate itself with a concept that offers products from small inventors like the Makers Showcase? Should Brookstone consider standalone Showcase stores outside of malls?