This spring, mall behemoth Westfield is debuting a first-of-its kind concept that combines retail, tech and innovation.
This spring, mall behemoth Westfield is debuting a first-of-its kind concept that combines retail, tech and innovation. Bespoke is a 40,000-foot space located in San Francisco’s buzzing Westfield Centre where retail-tech brands can cowork, demo products and host events.
The sleek coworking space features private and shared desks, high-speed Wi-Fi, a kitchen and a rock-climbing wall (very Silicon Valley). Meanwhile, the demo space is designed to showcase developers’ latest creations and test products on shoppers, and the event space can host up to 1,200 people. It is, as one journalist put it, “the ultimate retail laboratory.”
One of Bespoke’s main goals is to bridge the gap between digital and physical—to make it easy for online-only shops to dip their toes into physical retail with quick pop-ups and easy customer feedback. “There’s still growth on the Internet, but there’s more growth in fitting digital into the physical world,” said Westfield Labs’ global chief digital officer in Adweek.
We touched on this idea in our Future 100 report—brands from Nestlé to Walmart have set up innovation units to keep up with emerging technologies and test new products, and online-first retailers like Amazon are going physical. As Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard has famously said, “Every company is a technology company.” Agile brands are embracing the convergence of the digital and physical worlds and creating consumer experiences for the future.
We’re also noticing that more brands are supporting startup or entrepreneurship programs as a key marketing and PR platform—tapping into Millennial entrepreneurs who are increasingly favoring creating startups over working at companies.
Image credit: Bespoke