Top Menu

Inside the 2018 US store of the year

B8ta Santa Monica.

ADVERTISEMENT

A consumer electronics retailer bridging the gap between start-up businesses and consumers has been named the 2018 US store of the year.

B8ta in Santa Monica, California took out the top prize at the Shop! Awards in Chicago for its “game-changing innovation”.

The 2650-square-feet (246-square-metre) space carries cutting-edge tech products ranging from jewellery-style rings that can monitor sleep, heart rate and fitness, to solar-powered, antitheft backpacks and virtual reality equipment.

New products and their makers are featured each month, offering both established tech companies and startups a space to present their products and gain an understanding of how customers engage with their items.

b8ta Santa Monica is the store of the year

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

B8ta Santa Monica.

The space is designed to allow hands-on access to all products, many of which have never been seen in a retail environment. Each item is unboxed and live, made possible through freestanding display fixtures with built-in power.

B8ta CEO Vibhu Norby said the company is “building a new type of retail store, designed as a platform for product discovery” and helping makers connect with customers.

“At b8ta, we believe our differentiator is simplifying how tech producers can access in-person retail,” he said.

b8ta Santa Monica is the store of the year

B8ta Santa Monica.

Tablet enabled ‘bricks’ provide updateable product messaging to customers while tracking user interaction and engagement. This data feeds into back-end analytics available to the maker as part of the rental agreement, who can use these insights for product development and sales and market research.

Using tablets rather than printed signage allows product information to be updated easily as products are added or removed.

In keeping with the store’s focus on new technologies, there are no traditional POS stations. Instead, all sales transactions are processed digitally, with most products shipped directly to shoppers.

B8ta has a fleet of nine stores and a presence in 70 Lowe’s home improvement stores across the US.

 

Sign up to the RetailBiz newsletter.

, , ,