As physical retail adapts to new consumer expectations, non-retail partnerships are beginning to reshape shopping centers by blending commerce and coworking.

Earlier this month, WeWork, for example, announced a partnership with Rent the Runway. It also expanded its WeMRKT concept to 500 locations. A young startup, Re:store, is also adding to this new creative wave by merging co-working with retail. The startup provides the infrastructure to bring together independent brands to sell their products in a shared physical storefront. The store also doubles as a coworking space where retailers can opt to work together in an office-type setting.

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The company’s first location is expected to launch with 60 brands in San Francisco in spring 2019. Participating businesses would pay $350 a month and a 20% commission to Re:store, while $550 would add a coworking space, and $850 a month would enable inventory services and stock management.

The Re:store approach delivers solutions to independent retailers who deal with similar pain points about growth and expansion —​ namely, whether they should attempt to sell in a traditional brick-and-mortar store, how to manage inventory and how to not feel isolated while building a company.

Many online or Instagram brands are looking to experiment with a traditional store space. At the same time, the workforce is getting more comfortable with the idea of coworking spaces. Does Re:store hit the sweet spot of the next iteration of shopping?

The discussion forum on RetailWire asked its BrainTrust panel of retail experts the following questions:

  • What do you think of the expansion potential for the Re:store concept?
  • Does the co-working element boost the appeal of the arrangement for sellers and customers?

Here are eight of the most insightful comments from the discussion. Comments have been edited by Retail Dive for length and clarity.

1. The new retail concept

Bob Amster, Principal, Retail Technology Group: Is this the beginning of a department store concept repackaged?

2. Convenience with a captive audience

Shawn Harris, Global Innovation Strategy Lead, Zebra Technologies: WeWork just announced a similar plan at scale. It makes total sense for such spaces to leverage their supportive and captive audience of entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, and small businesses. This will allow them to further monetize the platform they’ve created beyond…