Just in time for Black Friday, there's a new type of retail store debuting in New York City. The New Stand, the brainchild of Andrew Deitchman, who co-founded agency Mother New York a dozen years ago before leaving in September, marries retail and media into a single platform. The store opened Tuesday.
"We think of ourselves as a day improvement company, uplifting people's day by having this bevy of essential things," said Mr. Deitchman, who serves as co-founder and CEO of the venture. He added that through The New Stand, customers can "connect with brands and content that they might find exciting or interesting."
The 150-square-foot shop, which is located in the Union Square subway station, will sell a select assortment of art supplies, gadgets and bags, as well as food items, from trendy brands such as Baggu and Stowaway Cosmetics. Merchandise will be swapped out on a regular basis, sometimes as often as daily. Because of brand partnerships, the products will often cost 20% to 50% less than they would at other retailers. In some cases, items will even be free, said Lex Kendall, co-founder and chief operating officer. Unlike a traditional retail store which gets revenue primarily from selling products to customers, The New Stand works with brands in various partnerships that are fee-based or allow for a share in revenue from products. Some companies give products to The New Stand for free in lieu of paying fees, for example. Brand partnerships pave the way for more savings for customers.
"If it's a rainy day, as a member you can get a free umbrella, which is either subsidized enormously or even free," added Mr. Kendall. "The idea is to give people everyday conveniences by being a launch pad for brands to push product."
The venture is supported by a free app that members can download to receive regular content including articles and videos. In this respect, Mr. Deitchman views the company as more of a media property. The New Stand, which also counts David Carson and George Alan as co-founders, has already secured partnerships with eBay and Time Magazine on special collaborations.
"Time is thrilled to partner with The New Stand to create new, unique ways to engage commuters and people on the go," said Meredith Long, publisher. "The New Stand's physical and digital platforms offer exciting opportunities with which to experiment for our readers and our advertisers."
The New Stand has a 10-year lease with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. A second, larger location of 300 square feet is planned for Brookfield Place, the luxury shopping center in downtown Manhattan. An additional four stores, some of which may be on the west coast, will open in 2016.
Of course, this isn't the first time entrepreneurs from Adland have ventured underground on a retail initiative. In 2013, Alldayeveryday launched The Newsstand, a store selling art and zines from hipster publishers that was located off the Lorimer subway stop of Manhattan's L train for six months. That art-focused venture was recently revived as an exhibit at the Manhattan Museum of Modern Art.