STORES Magazine - September 2017 - 13
FORGET THE BACON:
BRING HOME THE
FURRY FACES, NEW PLACES
Anyone with a youngster knows a favorite stuffed toy
can have frequent-traveler status. Build-A-Bear Workshop,
however, has introduced pop-up shops and onsite experiences
at a variety of destination locations, ensuring added fun and
furry friends for all.
In late spring, abridged versions of the Build-A-Bear Workshop
store experience were available in AMC Theatres in Florida,
Pennsylvania and New Jersey - complete with the option of
creating characters from popular movies. Build-A-Bear is also at
three different Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos,
as well as on board all 25 Carnival Cruise Line ships. The cuddly
creatures also have shown up at various Gaylord Hotels for
holidays and special events.
The company is expanding its reach as it approaches its
20th birthday, says Sharon Price John, Build-A-Bear Workshop
president and CEO, and summer offered the perfect opportunity
to make new memories. "Each of these partners offers our
unique make-your-own-furry-friend experience in hot spots
where families will be going this season to spend time together
and be entertained," she says.
Following in the vein of home
shopping parties everywhere,
Mars Inc. - whose chocolate
brands include 3 Musketeers,
Galaxy, M&Ms, Snickers and a
host of others - has created
The Cocoa Exchange. It allows
independent "curators" to hold
artisanal chocolate parties, sell
online and gain commissions,
rewards and professional skills.
Various home party experiences
include Dove Signature, with
Dove-branded chocolates; Pure
Dark, to explore "chocolate
beyond the candy bar"; and Pod
& Bean, which features chocolate
as an ingredient in sauces,
rubs and glazes. The effort
touts a commitment to quality
packaging and shipping; ethical
sourcing; chef-curated flavors;
and innovation. Another
feel-good flavor: Product sales
support female cocoa farmers in
Côte d'Ivoire through CARE.
MOBY MART TAKES HIGH-TECH CONVENIENCE TO THE STREETS
Take a deep breath: Per Cromwell, chief technology officer of Wheelys, has said the company dream is "an entire fleet of self-driving,
staffless stores ... reviving the countryside and our inner cities."
The vehicle to get there may well be Wheelys Moby Mart, an autonomous, staffless mobile convenience store that
is open 24 hours a day, every day, with no lines and no checkout. It runs on electric powered by solar,
features artificial intelligence hologram assistants, travels to various locations and even includes drones
for larger deliveries. And everything is accomplished via app.
In the future, according to the company, Moby Marts will be able to restock themselves and be
routed to spots with high demand at a particular time. Moby Mart, being developed along with
China's Hefei University and Himalafy, has been in beta tests in Shanghai, but don't
write that off as too far away: Sweden-based parent company Wheelys is a
chain of organic bicycle cafes that launched in 2014 with the goal of
enabling all people to own their own businesses.
A Wheelys cafe costs just $3,000 to start. Coffee is the original
offering, but additional modules allow a juice bar, crepe stand or ice
cream kiosk. There are now more than 900 cafes in 73 countries. In
addition, compact Wheelys247 supermarkets have been in beta tests in
Sweden, also shopped by app with no lines and no checkout.
STORES September 2017 13