Trendy gadget retailer B8ta's new service, Built by B8ta, enables retail entrepreneurs to launch a brick-and-mortar presence.
B8ta wants to help small retailers launch physical stores of varying sizes cheaply and effectively, based on the company's own experiences opening and operating 78 stores across the country. B8ta opened its first store in December 2015 in Palo Alto, Calif.
“As our business grew, there started being a class of larger companies in apparel and beauty that wanted to bring products to stores, but the product experience was misaligned with what they wanted to do,” B8ta CEO Vibhu Norby told TechCrunch. “With apparel, you don’t need a separate display for every shirt. So we started imagining creating a number of different brands for other categories.”
B8ta says it wants to share its store-building and infrastructure processes with entrepreneurs seeking to open their own stores, and to that end, the company plans to offer software and retail services for a flat monthly fee.
“For most brands we’re working with, the costs are quite reasonable,” Norby said. “I’ll say that it’s at least 50 percent cheaper than doing it yourself.”
B8ta’s software includes checkout, inventory, point-of-sale, inventory management, staff-scheduling services and more.
Netgear will be the first client to open a Built by B8ta store, at Silicon Valley’s Santana Row mixed-use complex, in June. B8ta anticipates that some 10 or 15 companies will launch Built by B8ta stores, selling apparel, cosmetics and furniture, according to Norby.
“This is designed for direct-to-consumer brands [that] have no store space but believe it’s important," Norby said, "or [which have] done one or two stores and are having a hard time scaling that up to 10, 20 or 30."
By Brannon Boswell