Facebook is opening up pop-up shops in Macy’s stores in the US. The social media company will open a total of nine stores just in time for the frantic holiday shopping season. The shops will feature nearly 100 native digital brands. One of the brands being featured is Two Blind Brothers. The company sells ultra-soft clothing and it donates its profits to help researchers find the cure for blindness. The Charleston Gourmet will also be featured in the pop-up shops that will open this week. Love Your Melon, another company that donates its profits to charity, is also in the mix.
Facebook is trying to take popular online brands offline and take advantage of the retail sector to somehow ramp up sales. It’s literally crossing the divide between the digital and physical world. The new Facebook pop-up shops will be located on Macy’s “The Market.” This is an area that has generally been used by the retailer to showcase emerging brands. The retailer doesn’t take any cuts from the revenue generated from these brands but instead it charges a one-time fee. The stores are located in a number of cities too such as New York, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Pittsburg, Los Angeles, San Antonio, and Seattle.
Facebook released its first physical product this year, the Facebook Portal. The portal is a video communication device that leverages on AI to make video calls and retails at between $199 and $349. This is also the first time that the social media company is going into brick-and-mortar retail. Whether these two things are connected remains to be seen but even then, there’s no doubt that an offline presence could be vital in helping the company increase sales for the new device.
But Facebook is not the only tech giant that is venturing into the brick-and-mortar space. Amazon, a leading e-commerce platform, has also been making inroads into brick-and-mortar retail. The company announced a deal similar to that of Facebook after signing an agreement with Good Housekeeping to sell related products on pop-up stores in the Mall of America.
Amazon is also sending catalogs to millions of customers this holiday season. The company wants to make a bigger entrance into the toy market and to some extent take advantage of the troubles engulfing Toys ‘R’ Us which went bankrupt this year. Increased debt, poor management, and failure to adapt to the changing shopping landscape have all been blamed for the collapse.
Amazon has also controversially entered the retail market with its acquisition of Whole Foods. The e-commerce platform has its own version of high-tech stores across the country. At the moment, Amazon is in direct competition with traditional retailers like Macy’s, Target, and Walmart, especially during the holiday season. Although Facebook has never shown any intentions to extend its presence in the brick-and-mortar space, it’s clear that this is an area that the company can explore to meet certain goals including the sale of its new Facebook Portal.