A big moment for Annelie Gullström, Head of Business Development at AMF Fastigheter, on April 11 at 11.40am in the main room of the conference center at the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I in Barcelona. In this session, called “Mixing It Up–Game Changers,” she talked about The Lobby. It was on April 5, 2018, when AMF Fastigheter launched this retail concept in the heart of Stockholm’s Mood district.
The new model, which is the next generation of the retail pop up, boasts a plug-and-sell format which gives online brands access to all they need to ”set up shop” physically – from staff, to new technology and access to a captive consumer. It also provides a facility for technology companies to trial new technologies and products with established retail brands de-risking the development process. Deloitte Digital is one of AMF Fastigheter’s main partners in this which will help drive and build retail innovation for The Lobby.
The Lobby is where innovative retail solutions for the future are put to the test and offers the potential to reinvent the way retailers drive their businesses, stay relevant, and add value to their customers. It bridges the gap between online and offline reflecting the ever-changing dynamics of retail. It shines the spotlight on the entrepreneur of the future and AMF has teamed up with Glad Stad, the organization behind Hornstulls Marknad, to source up-and-coming brands, entrepreneurs, creators, and designers get the opportunity to showcase themselves. Over 40 different brands, some of which made a debut in Sweden, took spaces ranging from a shelf up to several square meters.
Surviving the digital age
In conjunction with the opening of The Lobby, Volvo Cars temporarily relocated its studio from Kungsträdgården. It also accommodated several larger brands. For example, The Laundry Spa Electrolux that invited to a clothing spa and the cosmetic chain Kicks that offered visitors a quick makeup/touch-up. These sat alongside upstarts like Norwegian Rain and Horizn Studios. The Lobby also has a Cava bar and a delivery point for ordered products. One of the innovations is that it is regularly updated with new content, like lifestyle warehouse, with retailers on short flexible leases to enable various retailers to come and go on a rolling basis.
“We have seen a great interest from retailers, consumers and tech companies for The Lobby and this demonstrates that we have created something that was previously lacking, and something which will survive the digital age. We have created a test lab where we, together with brave and innovative brands, will develop the marketplace of the future,” said Annelie. She defines The Lobby as a media channel or an arena to communicate with potential customers.
In general, Annelie felt that the role of the “store” was less about being used to showcase products and more about introducing the brand as well as telling the brand’s story today. Flexible retail is here to stay and the winners dare to challenge the old truths.