Is L.A.’s Platform The Future Of Retail?

In Culver City on the west side of Los Angeles, a shopping development is experimenting with retail, mixing traditional strategies with new. Called Platform, the new quarter defies many of the terms by which we define retail. It’s neither mall nor department store, neither traditional Main Street nor high street plumbed with independent owners. It’s an appealing array of these elements, with unusual merchandise partnerships and online connectivity thrown in. Platform’s business model is the brainstorm of two aspiring real estate investors, Joey Miller and David Fishbein, who, tellingly, lacked retail experience when they bought two acres of land in Culver City a decade ago when they were in their twenties. Several of the two dozen stores at Platform are pop-ups with short-term leases. Others are owned, branded and merchandised by the developers, using unconventional partnership contracts with brands. Much of the merchandise — and restaurant fare — can be purchased online and picked up at a drive-through that the proactive pair created when faced with pandemic restrictions last year. But move fast — the Cire Trudon candles at Platform’s Broome Street General Store recently were all sold out. Read more at Vogue Business.