New concept offers modern alternative to traditional department stores

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New concept offers modern alternative to traditional department stores

By Marianne Wilson - 11/19/2018
A retail start-up has unveiled its take on the department store of the future.

Neighborhood Goods has made its retail debut, at Plano’s Legacy West, a $3.2 billion, 255-acre open-air retail and restaurant development in fast-growing Plano, Texas. The Dallas-based company was created as a “modern alternative” to the traditional department store, combining a revolving selection of brands, events, and social experiences.

“After over a year of work, we’re so proud to be opening our store to the public,” said Matt Alexander, co-founder and CEO of Neighborhood Goods. “We’ve been thinking exhaustively about how to create a more positive and exciting relationship between customers and brands. Whether via our curation, our storytelling efforts, or our technology, the experience for customers and brands alike has been our absolute focus.”

The 14,000-sq.-ft. store houses a variety of brands, the majority of which are digitally native and new to brick and mortar. The offerings cover a wide range of footprints and categories, including fashion, accessories, beauty, home decor, family, wellness, and consumer tech. The first wave of retailers range from hot sneaker company Stadium Goods and Hims wellness products for men to Allswell mattresses and bedding to kids clothing brand Primary. Reese Witherspoon’s Southern-inspired lifestyle brand Draper James is also featured.

Neighborhood Goods makes it easy for the brands to set up shop. As to the business model, some brands lease space for a flat monthly fee, and others pay less rent plus a percentage of sales, according to Women’s Wear Daily.

In addition, Neighborhood Goods features its own retail concepts, including The Residency, a collection of products from new, local, and pilot brands, and the Gift Guide, a dedicated space for giftable goods selected for the holidays in partnership with some of the top brands in the industry. Prim & Proper, an on-site restaurant created in partnership with Front Burner Restaurants, is at the heart of the store.

Designed in partnership with Droese Raney Architecture, the space is built to be conducive to constant evolution. Its modular architectural system of retail spaces, street-like circulation, and multiple frontages to brand spaces, are designed to encourage shopper movement and brand discovery. The fixture components, which include fitting rooms and shelves, are flexible and can be easily reconfigured to meet a variety of in-store shop sizes.

In tandem with the store opening, Neighborhood Goods is also launching a website and iOS app where customers can not only shop, but also find immersive editorial content, order for in-store pick-up, RSVP for events, and more.

Headquartered in Dallas, Neighborhood Goods was co-founded in 2017 by Alexander and Mark Masinter. In May, it secured a seed round of $5.7 million led by Forerunner Ventures. Also participating in the round were Maveron, CAA Ventures, Global Founders Capital and other venture capital firms, and individual investors such as Michael Dubin of the Dollar Shave Club. Others include multi-room wireless home audio brand Sonos and LOLI Beauty, described as the world's first zero-waste, organic beauty brand.

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