Day2: Inspiration from Retail Safari in San Francisco
The physical store is increasingly becoming a place where you can see, feel, touch, taste, and listen to the brand. Places with endless opportunities but without stock. Places that offer customized and bespoke goods. The final transaction is typically made on-line, but the stores are inevitable in staging the brand.
Allbirds is another direct to consumer brand to watch. A Silicon Valley startup shoe company founded in 2015 being funded initially by an overwhelming successful Kickstarter campaign. They now sell millions of shoes and have had huge success online. In their brick-and-mortar stores in San Francisco they invite you in to try on size and experience the brand’s philosophy. All shoes are non-flashy, made of wool or eucalyptus tree fiber, Allbirds come in many different colors. They offer the consumers the possibility of wearing a very comfortable shoe, without looking as if you just left the gym. And then of couse Allbirds meets stringent standards for sustainable farming and animal welfare. Allbirds have stores in New York and London as well and have experimented with different partnerships and Pop-instores at Nordstroms and are now planning to open even more physical stores.
Bonobos a popular menswear e-tailer, calls its physical shopping destination a "Guideshop."
One of its Guideshops is located in Unions Street in San Francisco. In the shop men get guidance instore on styles and colors. They can see, feel and try on different sizes but they can’t actually carry anything home with them. The store doesn’t carry inventory. Customers can place an order on-line – instore – and get it send home to them. At home one can continue shopping – without having to leave home. This is how men like to shop. Easy, convenient, and personalized.
A super cool high-tech luggage brand with one of its physical stores located in Hayes Valley. Away has had huge success with a concept of design, content and direct to consumer pricing.
The design is modern and high-tech with ten different colors to choose from. Some of the models come with an ejectable battery to charge an iPhone and an app, enabling you to always track your luggage. Away is king of content. And content has been the key to their success. Tapping in to the fact that we love showing pictures of our travelling on Instagram and listening to travel stories, Away has launched “Airplane Mode” a podcast that “explores the reasons we travel and places we find ourselves.” And last year they launched a beautifully designed print and digital travel magazine “Here”. Their stories and content come to life online as well as instore where you can buy the magazine for 10$. They offer transparent pricing with no unnecessary markups. And for the purpose part they’ve partnered with Peace Direct, a nonprofit building peace in areas of conflict around the world in this way offering mindful shopping as well.
Being in San Francisco, it is hard to avoid electronic gadgets. At the store B8ta you have the possibility of seeing some of the latest. The B8ta store is showrooming products you didn’t knew you couldn’t live without like a Véritable indoor garden, making it easy to grow and enjoy organic and flavorful produce straight from your kitchen, The Meural Canvas, which makes it possible to choose from and enjoy different images as lifelike as a museum original directly in your own living room, The Buddha Board, which is inspired by the Zen idea of living in the moment. You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation will come to life in bold design. Then, as the water slowly evaporates, your art will magically disappear. Or a Petnet SmartFeeder a Wi-Fi connected automatic cat and dog feeder. Using the Petnet App you can personalize your pet’s daily meal times and portions, order pet food for delivery – and even feed your pet from your phone. In this way, it’s easy to get AWAY. You can buy products directly from iPads placed along the product exhibited in the store, and they’ll be shipped to your address.