The newly opened Neighborhood Goods at Legacy West in Plano, Tex., is a retail outlier, presenting mostly merchandise from e-commerce companies such as Hims, MeUndies and Primary.
Moreover, its philosophy is “transparency, fallibility and experimentation.”
“We’re going to make mistakes and take risks and own that,” explained cofounder and chief executive officer Matt Alexander, asserting that a willingness to take chances is conspicuously absent in stores. “I feel like so much of traditional retail is a cookie-cutter idea that is replicated in all these different markets. We want to tell a particular story in a great way.”
The 14,000-square-foot store, which opens Saturday is an open cream-and-gray space thinly merchandised with brand shops — some on low platforms — plus a bistro. Nearly everything in the store is available for purchase, from the restaurant flatware to the furniture in sitting areas.
The business arrangements vary. Some brands lease space for a flat monthly fee, and others pay less rent plus a percentage of sales, Alexander explained. Some simply pony up to place a product, such as a work of art. The mix will change over time.
“The brands sell product, use the space for testing, marketing, data capture, and we just facilitate the whole thing,” Alexander said. “It doesn’t require a heavy lease.”
The fashion brands are Serena sportswear, Draper James Southern lifestyle togs, Buck Mason men’s sportswear, Stadium Goods limited-edition sneakers, MeUndies men’s intimate apparel, Desmond & Dempsey pajamas and Primary children’s clothing.
Colleen Rothschild skin care and Hims wellness products are the main beauty shops, while Loli Beauty shares a small display with TDE handbags, and Hubble contact lenses has a small area.
The majority of Neighborhood Goods’ offerings are for the home: the Citizenry handcrafted furnishings and tabletop accessories, the Inside customizable furniture, Otherland scented candles, Made In cookware, Year & Day ceramics and flatware, Simplehuman bins and housewares, Framebridge artwork frames, Allswell mattresses and bedding, Sonos audio equipment and prints by Dallas artist Rob Wilson.
Stylish bikes by Pure Cycles round out the mix.
“The critical thing for us [when] looking at myriad brands is, are they doing something really creative, and do they have the capacity to do something really creative with physical retail whether or not they had been in it before?” Alexander said. “We hope to be a great editorial outlet around these products and hopefully connect them with consumers in a way that comes from understanding, with a strong sense of identity and narrative.”
A goal is to stock the calendar with special events, such as dinners, with brand founders, book signings, readings and nonprofit fundraisers, though none are on the agenda yet.
Alexander plans to open one or two more stores next year. Potential markets are Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Miami, Nashville, Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago.
The company received $5.8 million in seed funding last spring from Forerunner Ventures, Maveron, CAA Ventures, Global Founders Capital and other investors.
Legacy West is a well-trafficked, mixed-use center with luxury apartments, 321,000 square feet of office space, a hotel, restaurants and retail that opened last year adjacent to J.C. Penney’s corporate headquarters.