What would be a really good environment to test and tweak retail technologies, and get them in front of major retailers and brands?
How about a major mall in a tech hotbed, in a city few people groan about having to visit for a business trip?
That’s at least part of the idea of a new co-working space/retail lab that major mall operator Westfield is going for with a new 35,000 square foot space called Bespoke at its San Francisco Centre mall on Market Street, right downtown.
The facility is a blend of start-up office space, lab, demo space and event center. It has a lot of the “fun” stuff that these sorts of places apparently need to have – like a climbing wall and bocce court. I’m part of that ridiculous boomer generation that looks at workplaces as somewhere you, ummm, work. But whatever.
It’s an interesting concept that would probably only work in a handful of major markets, but the general notion of retail tech innovation happening in a retail environment – instead of the bubble of some exposed brick, reclaimed factory loft thing – makes sense.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.