Simon Property Group is launching a multi-brand experiential retail concept this month in partnership with Guesst, a Retail-as-a-Service (RaaS) platform that facilitates partnerships between retailers, landlords and brands. The GuesstHouse, will debut at Simon's The Westchester shopping mall, in White Plains, New York.
The 3,200-square-foot space opens Tuesday and will highlight heritage, indie and direct-to-consumer products and services across various luxury categories like home goods, clothing and other special "giftable" merchandise, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive.
To properly showcase the products to customers, the GuesstHouse will be staffed with knowledgeable professionals, including stylists and designers, according to the press release. Guesst said it will use its technology to oversee brand onboarding, sales transactions, payments, inventory tracking and data reporting to simplify the shopping experience.
The GuesstHouse opening is the latest move Simon has made to woo brands and further blend the offline and online shopping experiences. Recently, the Indianapolis-based company, which owns shopping centers around the world, went into business with Rue Gilt Groupe, invested in Aeropostale and launched the Shop Premium Outlet online marketplace.
Guesst is the latest company to capitalize on the trend of direct-to-consumer brands in brick-and-mortar stores. B8ta, Macy’s and Showfields have each introduced initiatives to showcase online brands to in-store consumers. The timing is good given that 90% of consumers plan to shop in-store for the holidays, per research from the International Council of Shopping Centers.
But it’s not just brick-and-mortar stores that stand to benefit from showcasing new online finds. Direct-to-consumer brands see physical stores as an opportunity to reach new in-store shoppers. And a 2018 report from Diffusion found that 81% of consumers plan to make at least one purchase from a direct-to-consumer brand within the coming years.