Co-working giant WeWork is getting into retail, with the launch of WeMRKET a “modern retail space” that will be piloted at WeWork 205 Hudson in New York City. The concept expands on WeWork’s ‘Honesty Market”, which, as the name implies was a market for members to purchase snacks and drinks using an honor payments system.
WeMRKT will initially sell products from 10 WeWork member companies. Those coveted spots were secured by a pitch competition this April. Winners were selected because they are innovative, have eye-catching packaging, and are backed by a solid business plan, among other criteria. Some of the products include juice from Misfit Juicery, phone chargers from Puku, and food from Splendid Spoon. Competitions for new products will be held quarterly. But the whole process is still being figured out, and if something becomes a standout hit, it may become part of the core collection.
The WeMRKT concept gives small startups a leg up in getting their products in front of customers in a bricks and mortar environment without the upfront costs. For some companies, this is their first foray into outside sales and presents an excellent opportunity for them to get product feedback from fellow WeWork members, many of them entrepreneurs themselves.
WeWork Chief Brand Officer Julie Rice says that WeMRKT is “by our members, for our members. WeMRKT is a great example of WeWork’s commitment to our members’ success. We are so excited to be launching it in New York City.”
In addition to member products, We MRKT will sell company-branded apparel, office supplies, and other snacks and drinks.
WeWork will be expanding more WeMRKTs across other locations in New York and nationally soon after, according to a press release. The winning companies will also have the chance to further sell their goods through WeWork’s partnership with snack delivery service company SnackNation.