With the rise of online retail, traditional malls have been dying a slow death. They’ve been forced to evolve and reinvent themselves. Otherwise, they risk becoming yet another abandoned retail wasteland.
At a time when malls are struggling for occupants, and with flexible office space in San Francisco at a minimum, the Westfield Group set out to solve both problems with an eye on the future. To this end, they created Bespoke, a retail and technology community under one roof. More specifically, they converted the fourth floor of a mall in downtown San Francisco.
At Bespoke, you may be looking at a blueprint for the future of retail.
The Mall of the Future
Welcome to Bespoke, 37,000 square feet of co-working, demonstration, and event space. You can find Bespoke on the fourth floor of Westfield San Francisco Centre. This is the city’s flagship shopping center in downtown San Francisco. Here, entrepreneurs like Product Hunt, Shoes of Prey, FoyerLive, and TwoTap make their home along with 200 traditional retailers and mall restaurants.
The Westfield Group manages shopping centers worldwide. They chose this San Francisco shopping center to open Bespoke because San Francisco has long been considered the hub of innovation and technology. However, it is also known for its shortage of flexible office space.
Bespoke opened its doors in late May. It is the perfect trifecta of co-working, demo, and event spaces. Here, the San Francisco community can work, create, refine, showcase, entertain, play, and sell. It’s a place where startups and major brands can come and work together to create ideas and take them immediately to the consumer.
Bespoke’s workspace includes conference rooms facing the mall. These also double as pop-up storefronts, where entrepreneurs can test their products on the 20 million annual shoppers. Westfield calls it a retail laboratory, as mall-goers can be the test subjects on products before they hit the market. They can also attend fashion shows as well as speaker sessions behind the demo area’s 30-foot digital walls. Another key feature of Bespoke is a 18,000-square-foot event facility.
For just $385 a month, entrepreneurs get access to a shared desk and amenities like nap pods, foosball tables, a bocce ball court and a bouldering wall. Private offices for two people run $1,450 a month. (Although if you’re thinking of moving your business into Bespoke, you’re in for a wait. All seven private offices were snatched up weeks before Bespoke opened its doors, and there is a waiting list for desks.)
You’ve truly gotta see it to believe it. Check it out online.