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Macerich launches BrandBox

Goal is to help online brands open physical stores

Credit: Macerich

Mall owner Macerich unveiled a new concept called BrandBox that’s intended to help popular online brands open new physical stores without the typical leasing strings attached (i.e. time and cost it takes to open a store and a long-term commitment). Five brands opened this weekend at Macerich’s Tysons Corner Center outside of Washington D.C., according to Forbes.

Becoming a trend: This seems similar to what Brookefield is doing on Bleecker Street… The company is creating an “incubator where emerging online brands or new retail concepts use storefronts to test the market and experiment in the brick-and-mortar realm”, according to Forbes.

Top startup in the space… b8ta has raised a total of $38.5 million from investors that include Macy’s and Khosla Ventures. The retail startup sells products for multiple tech companies in a physical store. 

Takeaway: Retail is not dead; rather, the traditional model must be tweaked to conform to our zeitgeist. Many retailers that began as e-commerce-only brands are acknowledging the need to open stores (e.g. Allbirds, Casper, Everlane).

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