PropTech trends sees retail space following the co-working model
Proptech startups Fourpost and BrandBox are transforming the traditional retail model by adapting the co-working concept to retail through a concept dubbed “brandboxing,” which offers flexible terms and all-inclusive set-ups to online retailers to test and scale their products in local malls across the U.S.
Brick and mortar retail space owners and REITs facing fierce competition from online sales and are welcoming the change.
“Today, brands are demanding better options for brick and mortar,” says Fourpost Founder and CEO Mark Ghermezian. “The industry has not kept pace with modern retail. We built Fourpost to completely re-architect the process by building a community and breathing fresh air into what has been a stale industry between landlords and brands for hundreds of years.”
Brandboxing is a turnkey approach to enable smaller online brands to open and operate stores in malls by outfits online retailers with prefabricated plug-and-play technology and utilities including Wi-Fi, retail analytics, POS systems, security tags and cameras, storage for inventory, and even break rooms.
These spaces are often made of modular walls and lighting that can be re-positioned to custom tailor store configurations to an online retailer’s brand’s and messaging.
The concept lowers the barriers to eliminating long-term leases, high rents, capital expenditure and operational logistics making it easy for online merchants to scale and test the success of the brick and mortar stores without having to procure a permanent location.
In addition to a set-up, members of Fourpost and Brandbox receive retail analytics to measure in-store sales and customer engagement similar to online portals to analyze data such as foot traffic, conversion, customer flows, and sales.
Fourpost has already launched studio shops in the Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall. Macerich, self-managed Real Estate Investment Trust announced the launch of Brandbox in Tysons Corner Center in Virginia this past weekend.
“While Naadam lived exclusively online for our first few years, we have seen firsthand the importance of physical retail with the opening of two stores this year,” said Matt Scanlan, CEO and co-Founder of Naadam.
“Opening and operating stores in multiple cities is challenging, particularly for young brands. Partnering with BrandBox to enter the DC market has really streamlined the laborious process of creating a storefront that truly encapsulates our brand ethos.”
Tysons Corner will house six brands Winky Lux, Naadam, Interior Define, Nectar Sleep, DKNY and UrbanStems with space ranges from 550 to 2,500 square feet at the property with six to 12-month lease agreements.
“Our extensive research and direct experience with top digitally native brands has helped us to understand how essential offline retail is to their future growth and success,” said Kevin McKenzie, executive vice president and chief digital officer, Macerich.
Both companies expect more rollouts in 2019 across the nation.