B8ta store concept expands into fashion and lifestyle



Dive brief:

  • B8ta, which markets itself as a “retail as a service” platform, on Wednesday announced a new concept called “Forum” which focuses beyond electronics and devices on fashion and style. of life.

  • Its first Forum location, which features tech-equipped locker rooms, opens Nov. 15 on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles in the West Hollywood shopping district, according to a press release from the company emailed to Retail Dive.

  • Each brand partner designs their own space and organizes their brand experience, including product launches, community, influencers and VIP events, b8ta said. Its first flagship partner is the women’s sports brand ALALA, and the store will also offer a rotating selection of products from more than 25 brands.

Dive overview:

Various retail concepts are currently being tested to determine how to get the most out of physical locations, as retailers realize that stores can continue to provide a benefit as long as they attract customers.

B8ta leverages good store design and data to showcase products, many little-known manufacturers, in its own stores and in the shop-in-shop spaces of other retailers, notably at Macy’s, which invested in the company last year. Around that time, the company unveiled “Built by b8ta”, a storage-as-a-service platform. which allows brands that do not traditionally operate stores to quickly set up new physical operations.

Presumably, the startup has benefited from its association with Macy’s even outside of financial support. Vibhu Norby, co-founder and CEO of b8ta, told Retail Dive in an interview last year that “Macy’s really understands” and that “clothingWhat’s interesting is where they aren’t similar, like the speed of the fashion cycle. In electronics, once you have a product, you won’t be presenting it again for two years. In some ways our model is even better for clothing because we can revamp the store so quickly. “

A b8ta spokesperson said Forum had been under development “for some time”.

B8ta’s service addresses both the back office and the practical aspects of merchandising. The software includes cashier, inventory, point of sale, inventory management and workforce planning services, “plus metrics like the number of impressions of guests walking past their location, the time spent browsing, and how often a room enters the lodge. “ But part of the draw is finding and selecting new and possibly exciting brands for buyers.

It also leaves a lot of power to the participating sellers. RFID allows the changing room background to be adjusted to suit a brand’s aesthetic and allows visitors to learn about brands and products, and use digital displays in the bedroom to request information. items to try. B8ta said they chose their Forum partners based on their focus on ethical and sustainable production (including Just Human, Tact & Stone, Poplinen, PROCLAIM, Remu Apparel, Neococo) or local links (including H-ology, Silked and local jewelry makers).

“Now is the time to translate four years of learning into the fashion and lifestyle space,” said Phillip Raub, co-founder and chairman of b8ta, in a statement, in which he said the look social purchasing of clothing and accessories had changed. “Today, social experiences are very different, which is why we wanted to create a new experience adapted to today’s consumer who is looking for real links and social engagement with brands sharing similar values.”


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