There’s a new reality in modern retail and e-commerce services provider Shopify is positioning itself as a friend to young digitally native brands looking to make the all-important leap into the physical world—without all the attendant overhead.
In a press release, Shopify said today that it’s working with new kid on the retail block, Showfields, to showcase a curated selection of emerging brands that it hosts on its e-commerce platform. Playing in arenas similar to Story and The Curated, Showfields is aiming to forge a name in experiential retailing—the way, it seems, that a certain demographic of seen-it-all consumers wants to experience something new and interesting every time they step inside your four walls. Open since mid-December, the four-floor building at the intersection of Bond St. and Lafayette St. in NoHo has assembled a cohort of born-online brands including Australian coffee-based skincare brand frank body, pet food company The Farmer’s Dog and N5 & Sunny, a Brooklyn-based gift- and décor-centric lifestyle brand.
Shopify said it’s expanding on Showfields’ motley crew of DTC labels with the addition of seven of its brand customer. They include: home goods brand Aelfie; Baby Tress, make of edge styling tools for natural and kinky hair; Best Self Co, provider of journals and productivity tools; Coco and Breezy, a purveyor of modern eyewear; tableware startup Hudson Wilder; Meso Goods, which makes products based on traditional artisan millinery techniques from Central America; and dog accessories firm Wild One.
Shoppers will be able to experience these brands in the Showfields setting through May, Shopify said.
High-profile success stories in the direct-to-consumer sector make the case for establishing a real-world presence despite relying on the internet for an initial headstart. Brands like Warby Parker, Bonobos, Eloquii and Naadam all have come to understand the importance and value of opening well-thought-out stores in key locations to better serve customers and understand consumer behavior.
Indeed, Shopify itself is seeing increased interest among its own stable of brand customer looking to explore real-world retailing. Last summer Shopify opened an L.A. space in ROW DTLA where the company could meet merchants in person, educate prospects and users on its platform and services, and offer tips on how SMBs can expand their business. Visitors to the space could also learn about Shopify’s point-of-sale hardware products.
“Bridging from online to brick-and-mortar is new territory for many brands, but at Shopify we’re helping our merchants reach their customers everywhere,” the company said in a release.