Macy's announced yesterday the launch of SoGifted, a gift shop featuring merchandise from women-led small businesses, in partnership with SoGal Ventures and b8ta. The SoGifted shops will debut at seven Macy's locations across the country and will remain in-store through Jan. 31, according to a company press release.
Macy's recently acquired a minority stake in SoGal, a venture capital fund that invests in diverse entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Asia. The retailer also noted in its statement that the gift shop is "powered by" b8ta, an experiential retail startup in which Macy's is also an investor.
SoGifted will feature brands such as TomboyX, Ettitude and Quirktastic, which "brings diversity to Macy's gifting mix," the retailer said. Macy's will also highlight the gift shop during "entrepreneurial focused events," including a launch party with the female founders at its flagship location in Herald Square.
Macy's is leveraging its investment in b8ta with the SoGifted launch. The retailer was one of multiple investors that made up a Series C funding round totaling $50 million. Back in October, the startup also announced that it was transitioning into fashion and lifestyle brands in addition to electronics.
The launch comes at a time when Macy's is in the middle of significant changes. This week, president Hal Lawton announced his departure from the company to join Tractor Supply, and, in light of a decline in sales, it's not clear whether the retailer will close more of its physical storefronts next year.
On the other hand, Macy's has also been making an effort to improve its existing locations and introduced offerings like Story and The Market @ Macy's. Will featuring underrepresented brands lure in new shoppers?
"With the partnership at Macy's we're taking this a step further and giving in-store shoppers across the country an opportunity to discover and support female-led small business brands — so the next generation of women can be empowered to know that entrepreneurship is within their reach," SoGal's co-founder Elizabeth Galbut said in a statement.