b8ta, the store founded by Nest alums to sell fashionable gadgets, enters a new territory. Today, the start-up launches "Built by b8ta", which functions as a retail platform for brands that want a physical presence.
Building on the success of its own retail stores, b8ta is confident that it can provide a simple and cost-effective solution for brands wishing to launch physical stores of various sizes. Since launching its first store in December 2015 in Palo Alto, b8ta has built and deployed 78 additional stores across the country.
"As our business grew, major clothing and beauty brands wanted to bring products to the stores, but the product experience was not aligned. with what they wanted to do, "says Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta. "With clothing, you do not need a separate screen for each shirt, so we started to imagine creating a number of different brands for other categories."
Instead of creating these brands, B8ta thought that it would be more adaptable to open its shop building and infrastructure processes to other entrepreneurs looking to open their own. stores. This is how b8ta sold its software and retail services for a monthly fee. The monthly fees, of course, depend on the square footage required, as well as the cost of real estate, no matter which market the customer decides to open the retail store on.
"For most of the brands we work with, the costs are quite reasonable," said Norby. "I would say it's at least 50% cheaper than doing it yourself."
b8ta's software solution includes checkout, inventory, point of sale, inventory management, personnel planning services and more. Netgear will be the first customer to launch a Built by b8ta store in June in Santana Row, Silicon Valley, and b8ta plans to roll out additional stores for other brands in this area. In fact, Norby said that there is a handful of other brands that B8ta will be announcing soon. This year, b8ta expects 10 to 15 companies to launch b8ta-built stores for cosmetics, clothing and furniture.
"This is designed for direct selling brands that do not have sales space, but who think it's important or who have made one or two stores and who have poorly reach 10, 20 or 30 ". said.
Some of those built by b8ta stores will exist in some of B8ta's existing flagship stores. For brands that need more space, b8ta can create separate mid-sized to large stores.
b8ta compares its offer to Shopify, in that it provides physical stores for brands while Shopify provides virtual stores for brands. Instead of requiring brands to deal with store builds, infrastructure, real estate people and so on, b8ta can provide all this for them. On the property side, b8ta already has relationships with national property owners, architects, contractors and designers.
"We already have a very large scale," Norby said, noting that b8ta has a complete supply chain for manufacturing fixtures and modular designs. In terms of staffing, Norby said, b8ta's "big innovation" is opening up many stores in the same mall, which b8ta plans to do with Santana Row. This allows b8ta to cover the operations and management of multiple brands.
"In our system, no individual store needs to hire its own management team," Norby said. "It's just a team that looks at the whole center."