Store of the Future WithMe Opens in SoCal



The prefab space melds online with brick-and-mortar retailing

Retail tech company WithMe opened its seventh temporary retail space today—in Santa Monica, Calif.—bringing its store of the future to SoCal shoppers.

The company, which is based in Las Vegas, creates fully portable, prefabricated retail environments that meld the online and offline shopping experiences.

WithMe erects stores in spaces for one year—then partners with a number of different retailers and brands to create ephemeral pop-up experiences throughout that year—before packing up its prefab shell and moving on to the next location. 

But the merch isn’t the thing at WithMe stores. The company excels in creating ooh moments for consumers through its modular, high-tech store features. 

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The 8,000-square-foot Santa Monica, Calif., store will open with an inventory of apparel and accessories from New York bargain mecca Century 21. 

The space’s tech tricks are numerous: Consumers can shop the racks or peruse and buy inventory that’s not in store on digital displays. A translucent tabletop display called the Reactable shows product in motion, then provides suggested pairings for items. Smart tags and tables also flash personalized suggestions, a la Tom Cruise shopping in the Gap in Minority Report.

A pixel wall—a floor-to-ceiling immersive smart display—features 900 individual screens that can move independently from each other or group together to “form shelves and hanging racks,” according to company literature. The wall can also “respond to shoppers using the WithMe store mobile app to suggest products or display rich content from the brand.”

And shoppers can prefill their dressing rooms by scanning items with the store app as they browse—selections are delivered once they arrive in their room. And, of course, there’s a smart mirror where consumers can request different colors/sizes without stepping foot outside the room

The innovative retailer, which was formerly called OrderWithMe, has been around since 2011 and started out in China, where it won Tech Crunch’s prestigious Disrupt Beijing competition. After raising tens of millions in venture capital, it set down roots in Las Vegas, where it has, along with Zappos, become a pioneer in the city’s ongoing regentrification of the city’s downtown area. 

(Photos from top: a pixel wall from WithMe; the new Santa Monica space; both courtesy of WithMe)

JCK Magazine Editor