The fall of big retailers is making space for innovative startups to rethink the future of malls and shopping.
To help fill the gap left by stalwarts like Sears, a number of startups have emerged with the goal of helping online brands go offline–and adapting the traditional store model to better suit their needs.
After founding a nonprofit that provides free retail space to entrepreneurs and artists a few years ago, Matt Alexander says he saw how meaningful a physical space can be. In 2017, through mutual connections Alexander met Mark Masinter, a founding investor at Restoration Hardware who also helped Steve Jobs conceptualize the Apple Store. What began as a 30-minute meeting to toss around ideas on how to reimagine retail space lasted for hours.
From those discussions the pair came up with the idea for Neighborhood Goods, a 14,000-square-foot space–a fraction of the size of a typical department store–designed to showcase mostly online brands on a rotating basis. The first store, which will be equipped with a restaurant and events spaces, will open at Legacy West, a 255-acre open-air retail and restaurant development in Plano, Texas, in November.
Read more at Inc.