San Francisco & Oakland's 7 Must-See Retail Spots
PSFK’S San Francisco and Oakland guide examines how retailers are incorporating technology and innovative practices in order to create memorable experiences for consumers
From robotic burger-making machines to interactive dressing rooms, San Francisco is home to myriad retail innovations, and continues to lead the way in offering inspiring and innovative store design and customer experiences. Likewise, neighboring Oakland boasts a range of new retail ventures as it undergoes an economic renaissance.
PSFK compiled a list of the top exciting innovations from this tech-driven metropolis, outlining fresh retail ideas spanning food, fashion, gaming, technology and more. Here's how seven brands are reinventing the store experience to engage with customers, provide interactive and personal experiences, and ultimately drive sales:
Cafe X | Financial District, SF
This fully-automated coffee shop features the company’s second-generation robotic barista kiosk. The newest version is equipped to handle multiple drink sizes, clear cups and nitro brew coffee. It is even capable of gestures, such as waving to customers after it’s finished making a drink.
Address: One Bush Plaza, 1 Bush St
Batch | Russian Hill, SF
This modern furniture retailer designed a showroom to look and feel like a friend’s home. The owners realize today’s shopping experiences are quite literally out-of-touch, since customers can’t physically feel the product; Which is why Batch created an immersive, inspiring experience in a place that is comfortable and welcoming. Everything is for purchase and is redecorated with new brands every eight to 10 weeks.
Address: 1648 Pacific Ave
MM.LaFleur | Union Square, SF
This direct-to-consumer clothing brand is disrupting the way women shop for office essentials, with their elegant, versatile and machine-washable workwear. Their San Francisco showroom attempts to translate the brand’s digital subscription service into a physical store experience. Each shopper is assigned a personal stylist who can curate pieces based on their needs, and the space is designed to feel approachable and empowering, with comfortable yet elegant decor and a gallery-like space with photos of remarkable women.
Address: 23 Grant Ave, 5th Floor
RazerStore | Union Square, SF
Gaming device and software company Razer has created the ultimate gaming concept store inside Westfield San Francisco Centre. Visitors can try out multiple gaming setups to test out the brand’s keyboards, headsets and other cutting-edge gaming hardware. In addition to hosting gaming events and tournaments, the store invites gamers to stop by with their friends for free gaming sessions to try out their latest games, turning shopping into a social experience.
Outdoor Voices | Hayes Valley, SF
This technical apparel retailer offers customers an experience as they guide themselves through interior inspired by coastal architecture that evokes a sense of movement and play. Customers can shop while viewing a live stream feed from different National Parks in the wilderness. One of the greatest features is the plant-filled tearoom where guests can relax and sip tea surrounded by merchandise available for purchase.
Address: 555 Hayes St
Harborside | East Peralta, Oakland
This marijuana dispensary is revolutionizing the way customers purchase cannabis by implementing tactics found in more established retail categories. In addition to offering a tiered rewards program and same-day delivery, the retailer implemented a BOPUS (buy-online, pickup-in-store) model to make the purchase experience as seamless as possible.
Address: 1840 Embarcadero
Viscera | Downtown Oakland
This socially conscious retailer and jewelry design studio creates personalized 3D-printed jewelry in-house in its sleekly designed boutique. It also sells a curated selection of American-made products, including fashion, accessories and cosmetics.
Address: 1542 Broadway
This is just a sampling of the innovation in retail, store design and customer experience that the Bay Area has to offer. For the full listing, see PSFK's report The San Francisco/Oakland Retail Guide.
Lead image: Cafe X via Facebook