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Innovative store platform allows Macerich malls to host hard-to-find and new retailers


Macerich is rolling out a plug-and-play concept that allows it to bring new retailers to its centers in a most untraditional way.

The mall owner announced it is expanding its portfolio for WithMe, an interactive physical store platform that allows brands to set up limited-time shops in a most expedient way. WithMe offers brands a fully portable, pre-fabricated and high-tech retail environment that blend the best of online and offline shopping.

Utilizing the WithMe store platform, Macerich will open shops that deliver e-tail-to-retail and hard-to-find brands in six of its shopping centers, including Los Cerritos Center, Tysons Corner Center, The Oaks, The Shops at North Bridge, Washington Square and Santa Monica Place, where WithMe launched its first mall location with the West Coast debut of Century 21 Department Store in May 2016.

"The WithMe concept is designed to welcome retail's next big thing in a matter of days, and will be a tremendous way to add newness and excitement for shoppers, whether they find one or many of these engaging, high-tech 'stores without walls' in our common areas,” said Eric Salo, executive VP and chief strategy officer, Macerich. “The interactive experience WithMe delivers to our common areas is a flexible and powerful platform that continues to differentiate our high-performing properties."

Ranging in size from 100 to 300 sq. ft., the upcoming WithMe shops in Macerich properties will provides a changing showcase for limited runs of new store concepts. The shops will utilize WithMe's state-of-the-art technology which includes such features as interactive tags, responsive display tables, directional audio and more.

Here’s a rundown on some of the retailers that will be using the WithMe retail platform to set up shop:

• Lanai Collection is coming to the common areas at The Oaks and Tysons Corner Center, and just opened at the inline WithMe flagship at Santa Monica Place. These are the first-ever physical stores exclusively dedicated to the two-year-old concept that offers luxurious, casual menswear.

• Also at The Oaks will be the first-ever physical store for Ezekiel, a longtime Southern California clothing brand that has emerged via a community of surfers, skaters, musicians and artists. To date, Ezekiel clothing has been available online and at select specialty and department stores.

• The Tie Bar, a popular online destination for men's neckwear and other accessories, is coming to Tysons Corner Center.

• Design-minded Kappa Toys will offer its second-ever store filled with new and classic toys at Tysons Corner Center.

• International purveyor of artist-designed shoes, hard-to-find BucketFeet will open at The Shops at North Bridge in downtown Chicago.

• Sandilake, a purveyor of simple and modern screen-printed looks for kids, is coming to Washington Square.

• The new WithMe locations also will expand the reach of several sought-after brands, including the upscale activewear concept from Australia, Lorna Jane, at The Oaks, Tysons Corner Center and Washington Square; and Urban Outfitters at Los Cerritos Center.

• Also coming to Santa Monica Place in the WithMe common area platform is the retail presence of Wired Magazine.

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