Fourpost wants to lead the way for retail 2.0. Brick-and-mortar shopping, the startup argues, is not dead, just different.
Mark Ghermezian, founder and CEO, raised $5 million for Fourpost from Social Capital and execs at a slew of popular consumer brands, like Warby Parker CEO Dave Gilboa and Parachute founder Ariey Kaye, to build a company that combines community with retail, bringing the archaic mall model into the new age of experiential shopping.
“Today, brands are demanding better options for brick and mortar,” he says. “The industry has not kept pace with modern retail. We built Fourpost to completely re-architect the process by building a community and breathing fresh air into what has been a stale industry between landlords and brands for hundreds of years.”
This November they launched their first two locations — the Mall of America in Minnesota and West Edmonton Mall in Alberta Canada; both of which are iconic examples of old-fashion retail and some of the largest malls in North America. Malls and department stores have seen dwindling sales, causing stalwarts in the industry like Sears and Macy’s to close stores. But Ghermezian argues his tech-savvy startup can give retail the jolt that it needs.
Coming from a background in technology, particularly CRM software, Ghermezian is not new to the tech scene. He co-founded customer management platform Braze where he worked as CEO for 10 years, helped raise $180 million, and built the company up to a valuation of $850 million.
It’s still about technology this time around. The aim is just slightly different: make an easy-to-use SaaS dashboard that enables smaller players to enter the retail game and reduce the barriers to entry. Fourpost provides smaller retailers with all the pieces and parts of running a brick-and-mortar shop in one package: account management, business training, event booking, billing, storefront data, and analytics to see what’s working. They tie it up into three categories: community, experiences, and technology.
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