With b8ta Stake, Macy’s Pop-up Biz Gets A Boost

Retail giant Macy’s is boosting its pop-up shop presence, known as Market @ Macy’s. The company is doing so by taking a minority stake in b8ta, a three year old firm that CNBC reported helps brands build out their physical store footprint. B8ta will offer up back end support for Market @ Macy’s.

That smaller tech-focused firm, reported CNBC, lets shoppers examine and interact with gadgets before purchasing them. For instance, Macy’s will branch out into offering products such as digital art canvas.

As has been reported, Macy’s has been in the midst of changing the way its retail space is used in one example, Macy’s bought STORY, which offers a rotating theme that determines what merchandise is offered across a span of several months.

As for Market, that concept traces back to February, and had an initial debut across 10 Macy’s stores.

The company’s Marc Mastronardi, EVP of business development innovation, told CNBC, We are deeply committed to creating an in-store experience that is new, compelling and exciting. The model that STORY has built in their location [in New York] is entirely about experiential retail … [and] the same concept is behind Market @ Macy’s and b8ta.”

The executive told CNBC that it is “too early” to determine whether Market shoppers are spending more at other areas within the store setting, yet he said that pop-ups lend an “overall halo” for Macy’s shopping in general.

The equity stake in b8ta was undetermined, and the smaller firm prior to the announcement  had raised $19.5 million in funding. Aside from the deal with Macy’s, b8ta has nine standalone stores in the United States and a relationship with Lowe’s, where the latter is able to run stores “within” its stores, focused on smart home products.


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