THE WEWORK FOR RETAIL IS HERE: PUBLIC.FACTORY BRINGS SHARED RETAILING TO SOHO
Yazid Aksas recently opened his new Public.Factory retail concept located in New York’s SoHo Grand Hotel with one goal in mind: to empower brands to focus on their merchandising and branding rather than the stress of logistics and cost of opening a brick-and-mortar store.
“When I decided to open a retail location for my menswear brand I realized how difficult it was to open a store in terms of financial and logistical commitments,” said Aksas. “With a year’s deposit, construction costs and constant expenses, I didn’t know how I could sustain my own space. When it comes to retail these days it’s either short-term pop-ups or long-term leases.”
So with this problem in mind, Aksas took inspiration from the popular WeWork spaces that have been sprouting around the city, where small business come together under one roof and lease office space under one location. “It’s the idea of brands coming together in a flexible and affordable way,” Aksas told MR. “The idea of sharing the cost of running the space between the brands makes sense for the generation we’re in today.”
The retail spaces housed in Public.Factory are focused exclusively on emerging menswear consumer brands, all with a strong desire to build a community. Each brand commits to three months in the space upon which they can either move out or continue their commitment to stay. Aksel Paris, Cockpit USA, Elkel, Enter, Fashion, Home and Living, Lareymondie, MBM Paris, Mott and Bow, Orikami, Pelcor, Rhone Apparel and The Sock Hop are currently sharing the space.
Aksas wants to see this concept spread to other locations. “I’m using this first location in SoHo as my lab,” said Aksas. “My goal is to open in all major capitals with the same vision in mind.”