ShopFulfill, a retail infrastructure company, has introduced Anchor Shops, a vertically integrated retail storefront and distribution network designed to help digitally native brands thrive offline. ShopFulfill has announced that it is proceeding with the launch of its first fulfillment center at the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust owned Moorestown Mall in Moorestown, NJ as well as a retail location in Fashion District in Downtown Philadelphia.
Anchor Shops was conceived to help digitally native brands better compete with legacy retailers and grow profitably. Anchor Shops aims to accomplish this by providing online retailers with a turnkey solution that enables them to establish a highly visible brick-and-mortar presence and benefit from a low-cost regional distribution network. By plugging into the Anchor Shops network, online brands are able to bring their products closer to the customer and deliver them more quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, they benefit from being grouped with complementary emerging brands in-store, which is intended to fuel engagement and drive sales.
“The retail paradigm has shifted to require a brick and click approach. It has been much easier for legacy retailers to build out their online infrastructures, but digitally native brands have found it difficult and cost prohibitive to develop physical footprints,” said Shlomo Chopp, Founder and CEO of ShopFulfill. “We are offering online-first brands something that is entirely unique and practical – the only all-in-one solution that empowers them to achieve profitability, establish a physical retail presence and build stronger customer connections.”
Anchor Shops’ highly differentiated value proposition helps online brands grow profitably by significantly lowering the costs associated with customer acquisition, leasing and operating stores, shipping product and handling returns. In addition to the economic advantages, Anchor Shops offers brands speedy, top-tier store replenishment, ecommerce fulfillment, and buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) services. This regional distribution model also helps retailers lower their carbon footprints by utilizing a strategic delivery system that maximizes the productivity of each truckload.
“Anchor Shops is the logical next step in the evolution of retail,” said Chris Walton, CEO of Omni Talk and Third Haus as well as a leading expert on omni-channel retail and an advisor to Anchor Shops. “It is easy to start a shop online nowadays, but the infrastructure and knowledge it takes to expand a brand’s presence into the physical world is complicated and expensive. Anchor Shops offers the best of the best digital brands a smarter way to enter physical retail for the first time.”
Fashion District Philadelphia represents an ideal destination for Anchor Shops’ first retail store given its highly visible location in the heart of Center City along bustling Market Street. Situated on the mall’s concourse level, Anchor Shops would attract steady foot traffic from the 22 million commuters who pass through the co-located Jefferson SEPTA station each year. The retail store seeks to house more than 40 digital-first retailers in a thoughtfully designed setting that guides consumers through a curated journey and allows each brand to support and be supported by the other.
“As the retail ecosystem continues to evolve, the mall platform is a vital component of successful multichannel retail strategies,” said Joseph Coradino, Chairman and CEO of PREIT. “Our portfolio, concentrated in densely populated markets, is uniquely positioned to support innovative solutions such as Anchor Shops, allowing emerging and digitally native brands to access our prime physical space as they position them for growth. Shoppers who frequent our properties will be able to engage with new, exciting and emerging brands, making the merchandising mix at properties like Fashion District Philadelphia even more compelling. Solving for logistics and infrastructure challenges positions these brands for sustainable growth within our portfolio.”
Anchor Shops intends to scale nationally after developing its network within the Philadelphia/South New Jersey region. The retail store at Fashion District Philadelphia and distribution center at Moorestown Mall, which will be staffed by retail professionals employed by Anchor Shops, are expected to open in the second quarter of 2020. The company is currently in discussions with a diverse group of online brands interested in plugging into its network. Depending on the size and type of space required, brands will have the option to join Anchor Shops and its national distribution network for as little as $800 per month.
“Throughout my 25 years of experience across retail and digital commerce, the fundamental value of connectivity across all touch points of the consumer experience has been paramount,” said Ryan Wolfe, Co-Founder and COO of ShopFulfill. “Anchor Shops powered by ShopFulfill uniquely connects turnkey retail with regional logistics to provide a platform for emerging brands to connect with customers, profitably scale and enhance life-time-value.”