As consumers seek to shop and live in a way that is aligned with their digital habits, retail is feeling the pressure to transform, says Andrew Deitchman, co-founder of modern convenience retail concept New Stand.
Speaking to Liz Bacelar on the latest episode of TheCurrent Innovators podcast, he discusses the importance of offering consumers thoughtful service in both physical and digital worlds.
“In many ways when you think about what newsstands were, they were your window into the world… Today discovery obviously happens on the phone, but it also is more and more physical. We’re physical beings and we like actually going into locations and touching things, so [with New Stand] we want to be able to provide that as a distribution point for content; that content also being physical products,” he says.
Deitchman’s concept, which he co-founded with Lex Kendall in 2015, is the reinterpretation of the convenience store experience, where consumers are met with a mixture of curated products and mobile content that fits seamlessly into their busy urban lifestyles. 2017 was a big year for the New York-based company, which not only opened more stores in the city (including on public transport ferries), but expanded across the country to office buildings and airports. Beyond the store’s curated selection of food, lifestyle and design objects, it also uses the space to introduce consumers to new launches, as well as leverage its wider platform for brand partnerships.
At the heart of the modernized concept is the need to ‘fight’ for a share of the customer’s time, says Deitchman, by connecting with them in a meaningful way. “You need to build from a real foundation of engagement,” he says. “It’s really about using that physical footprint to build a bridge into people’s lives that hopefully is a sustained one that they’re going to enjoy.”
In the conversation, Deitchman also discusses how New Stand is a media company at its core, the importance of being considerate with the data they are collecting from consumers, and how the team is planning to further expand the business building content and selling merchandise that is increasingly localized at a micro level. “I see us as an API for human engagement,” he says, improving the consumer’s day by adding value to their personal ecosystem.