Will Fashion Magazines transform into retail brands with a little help from the Internet of Things?
Marie Claire magazine is partnering with Neiman Marcus, Mastercard and B8ta to launch The Next Big Thing Concept Shop, an experimental pop up retail shop that uses the Marie Claire brand and readership base to drive customers to a tech driven retail experience. The shop will use B8ta's unique pop up/ tech showcase formula to showcase new innovations in fashion, beauty, entertainment, technology and wellness.
The collaborative effort will mark the first time a major fashion magazine ventures into a vertical market enterprise with retail partners in a hi tech, pop up shop.
The idea is basically this: Marie Claire will create featured content showcasing products, fashion, and lifestyle enhancements that are provided by their corporate partners, and the pop up shop. The retail space will sell those products in a physical location. A new wrinkle will feature shoppers using high tech IoT (Internet of Things) devices like smart mirrors and a special purchasing app downloaded to mobile devices to make cashless purchases at any time or place during the experience.
This is not the first venture into a retail space for Marie Claire. Last year, the venerable publication launched 'Fabled'. But it is the first time it has done so within the tech format of the disruptive new retail model.
Its a pretty decent proposition, allowing the magazine to actively promote the products of its partnership cluster and then participate in the profits on sales of the retail operation. All members of the partnership benefit from promotion from the magazine's substantial following. Marie Claire profits from a percentage of the sales allowing a new revenue source through the use of its brand.
Open to the public from September 23-October 12, The Next Big Thing Concept Shop will be located at 120 Wooster Street in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood.It will be open seven days a week from 11:30am to 8:30pm.
“Since its inception, Marie Claire has led influential and important women on the path to discovery, proving that curiosity is the best currency,” said Marie Claire Vice President/Publisher Nancy Berger. “We’re excited to share what’s new and what’s next, while offering New Yorkers to experience the future of shopping with our partners at Mastercard.”
The shop will bring the pages of Marie Claire to life by organizing products into three main zones named after popular sections in the magazine.
According to press releases, these will include @Work: "the get-ahead guide to career, style and success", @Play: "the go-to guide to going out, staying in and getting away" and @Peak: "the wellness resource for being on your game, in the zone and at your best".
Neiman Marcus stylists will provide advice and tips on the latest selection of top designer fashion available at the store.
Smart mirrors from Oak Labs will add high tech coolness by recommending additional accessories for outfits brought into dressing rooms.
Clarins will present its Sensor Mirror Pro, a virtual skincare mirror developed by MemoMi, a pretty cool gadget designed to promote luxury skin care products.
San Francisco-based retailer b8ta will be providing a mix of shoppable apparel, accessories, activewear, gadgets and more.
“Today’s consumer is seeking a seamlessly integrated experience across both the digital and physical environment,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships, Mastercard. “At the Next Big Thing Concept Shop, we will showcase how retailers can do that by blending Internet of Things (IOT) devices, such as smart mirrors and windows, with Mastercard’s industry-leading security and analytics solutions, and Masterpass digital payment service to allow every consumer interaction to be unique.”
The Next Big Thing Concept Shop Mobile App (available at the App Store and Google Play), allows shoppers to make cashless transactions from anywhere within the store, (including from the fitting room mirrors), book appointments with Neiman Marcus fashion stylists, and sign up for events and activities.
Highlights of programming includes:
The Headshot Truck – the world’s first ever mobile photography studio to take professional headshots and LinkedIn profile pictures.
Alyson Charles aka #RockStarShaman – will be in conversation to speak about mindfulness, spirituality and finding your inner Zen.
Baristart’s Michael Breach – the New York-based coffee and latte artist will be on-site during #NationalCoffeeDay (September 29) to draw portraits into cups of coffee.
Inscape – will offer a guide meditative and relaxation session.
sundays Nail Studio – will have on-site technicians offering nail-art, manicures and meditation.
“With The Next Big Thing Concept Shop, Marie Claire, along with MasterCard, will bring to life revolutionary products, concept, and technologies that we love, right from the pages of our October issue,” said Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider. “Everything we feature will enable our customers to stay ahead of the curve, fuel creativity and keep feeling fit.”
About Marie Claire
Marie Claire, a joint venture between Hearst Magazines and Marie Claire Album, is the fashion magazine with character, substance, and depth, for women with a point of view, an opinion, and a sense of humor. Each issue is edited for a sexy, stylish, confident woman who is never afraid to make intelligence a part of her wardrobe. Marie Claire has 34 international editions and reaches more than 40 million women worldwide. The magazine was co-founded in 1937 by French industrialist Jean Prouvost and writer Marcelle Auclair, whose goal was to present the realities of life mixed with fashion and beauty coverage. The American edition is published by Hearst Magazines, a unit of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest diversified media, information and services companies. With 21 titles in the U.S., Hearst is the leading publisher of monthly magazines in terms of total paid circulation (AAM 2H 2014), reaching 78 million readers (Spring 2015 MRI gfk) and 54 million site visitors each month (comScore). Follow Marie Claire on Twitter at @marieclaire and Instagram and Snapchat at @marieclairemag.
b8ta, a software-powered retailer designed to make physical retail accessible for all, was founded by Vibhu Norby (CEO), William Mintun (COO), and Phillip Raub (CMO). b8ta helps people discover, try, and buy new tech products while empowering makers with a simple retail-as-a-service model that puts them in control. b8ta has locations in Palo Alto, Santa Monica, Seattle, and Austin. The company is headquartered in San Francisco. To learn more about b8ta, visit b8ta.com, or find a b8ta store near you at www.b8ta.com/locations.