Macerich is launching its first mall location for WithMe, which will be at Santa Monica Place in Los Angeles.
WithMe is a format that features limited runs of traditional and pure-play retail brands in settings providing both a digital and physical shopping experience so shoppers can browse and touch merchandise or order products that may be out of stock and have them delivered. Using their mobile phones, shoppers can scan items, request items to try on, build a cart and check out without waiting in line. WithMe describes its retail environment as “fully portable and pre-fabricated that blend the best of online and off-line shopping.”
The format at Santa Monica Place kicks off May 26 with a six-week run of Century 21 Department Store, marking the New York-based off-price chain’s West Coast debut. The shop will be called WithMe Featuring Century 21.
Century 21 will occupy nearly 8,000 square feet over two levels and sell men’s and women’s designer apparel, accessories, swimwear and fragrances, reflecting the contemporary, relaxed Southern California lifestyle.
WithMe provides “an immersive, floor-to-ceiling smart display called the Pixel Wall, crafted from 900 screens that move independently to form shelves and hanging racks. As well, glass-top digital displays and interactive fixtures offer product highlights and video content about brands.” Shoppers will be able to scan items to find more options, request items to try on, build a cart and check out. The fitting rooms will have interactive mirror displays enabling customers to make purchases or request alternate products without leaving the rooms. RFID tags on all products give shoppers ready information at their fingertips.
“Macerich is the ideal partner for WithMe,” said Jonathan Jenkins, founder and chief executive officer of the brand, based in Las Vegas. “We were looking to expand into premier shopping centers that consumers know and love, and where traditional and pure-play brands want to be, in the country’s best markets.”
WithMe previously set up pop-ups around the country including in Chicago on North Michigan Avenue where the Toms and Raven + Lily brands were featured; at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York during National Retail Federation’s annual convention where G-Star Raw and Impinj were showcased, and in the Westfield Valley Fair in San Jose, Calif., where Harley-Davidson and Toms were presented.
“With its incredible technology that creates personalized, online and off-line shopping experiences, plus an ever-changing array of brand activations, WithMe will be a signature draw for our mall shoppers,” said Eric Salo, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at Macerich.
Macerich and WithMe plan to expand the concept, in large and small common-area formats, to other top-performing Macerich properties in the near future. WithMe is building modular common-area designs that range in size from 100 square feet to 1,000 square feet to accommodate a number of retail activations at Macerich centers in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
At WithMe at Santa Monica Place, shoppers can take their merchandise at the time of purchase, receive same-day deliveries or deliveries within two days.
“The essence of our business is in delivering designer brands at amazing prices and the revolutionary WithMe retail concept will change the way our guests interact with our curated selection of designer merchandise,” said Raymond Gindi, co-ceo of Century 21 Department Store. “This venture to the West Coast is not only historic for our company from a location standpoint, but it’s part of a macro retail strategy we’re employing of creating more interactive retail experiences for our shoppers.”
Century 21 Department Store has 10 stores, and will open two more this year, in the City Point mixed-use project in downtown Brooklyn, and in the Sawgrass Mills shopping center in Florida.
Macerich, a real estate investment trust, owns 55 million square feet of real estate consisting primarily of interests in 50 regional shopping centers.