Building upon more than 50 years of discovering, developing and delivering innovative products to people all over the world, Brookstone has launched the Brookstone PLUS Innovation & Retail Platform. Brookstone PLUS gives makers and tech brands faster access to stores in U.S. malls and accelerates the collection of customer feedback essential to product development. The platform also helps makers and brands sell products in A-level malls at low cost structures that are competitive to selling through online marketplaces.
As part of this global initiative, the company will host a grand opening of its first Brookstone Makers Showcase store at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, NY, on Saturday, April 21. Using the Brookstone PLUS Platform, Brookstone plans to roll out more Makers Showcase stores in the U.S. and China throughout 2018.
The new Makers Showcase store will feature crowdfunding campaigners from Indiegogo, inventors from Quirky, and new tech brands from around the world, such as Anker, Mobvoi and Royole.
“We’re bringing more than 50 years of retailing expertise to new makers,” said Brookstone VP of Operations Tom Connolly. “We’ve helped launch brands such as Tempur-Pedic, Parrot, iRobot and Segway. Getting people to experience new technologies and have fun is in our DNA. What Makers Showcase does is give makers and tech brands accelerated access to Brookstone stores and our innovation-minded customers across the U.S. and, in the near future, the world.”
Every inch of the new Brookstone Makers Showcase store is designed to deliver hands-on experiences with new products. In addition to a dedicated product demonstration stage, the store will feature a sound-dampened “Voice Box” room where customers can try out voice-centered innovations such as Zolo voice-activated speakers.
Brookstone Makers Showcase will also host frequent Meet-the-Maker events during peak traffic periods where makers can meet customers face to face.
“One of the advantages of selling in a brick-and-mortar store is that we get to meet customers in person and see their emotional responses when they interact with our product,” said Xavier Peich, maker of the SmartHalo Smart Biking System. “Seeing customers’ first-hand reactions at Brookstone lets me know what’s working, what really matters to a customer, and what messages may need to be strengthened.”
The new store will also combine advanced store traffic analytics with feedback from customer interactions to help makers quickly gain insights into their products. Brookstone chose RetailNext to provide the smart store analytics platform for analyzing customer traffic patterns, dwell time and conversion. Comprehensive shopper data allows both Brookstone and its makers’ brands the ability to measure shopper engagement and utilize those metrics to take continuous improvement actions on everything from merchandising to ongoing product development.
“Makers often experience sticker shock when trying to sell their products through brick-and-mortar retailers,” said Nick Vyas, founder and executive director at the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at the USC Marshall School of Business. “Selling through traditional retailer agreements quickly eats into their margin. Profits go down. Prices go up. What the Brookstone PLUS platform does is create an efficient platform that lets makers sell in A-level malls with flexible, lower-cost structures that are competitive to selling through online marketplaces. Makers can pass the savings onto the customer while maintaining sufficient profit for further innovation.”
“Our vision is that when a person walks into a Brookstone store anywhere in the world,” said Connolly, “they’ll experience the best innovations from all over the world. That is what we mean when we use the Brookstone motto ‘A World of Innovation.’ The first 50 years of Brookstone focused primarily on bringing exciting products to the U.S market. The next phase of our evolution will be to bring them to the world.”