Sojitz Invests in SHOWFIELDS, a New York-based Company Fueling Innovation as “The Most Interesting Store in the World”
– Leveraging Experience, Discovery and Shopping to Drive Its Shopping Center Growth in Japan –
Jun. 2, 2021
Sojitz Corporation (“Sojitz”) has invested in SHOWFIELDS, Inc. (Head Office, New York, U.S.; “SHOWFIELDS”), curating the most interesting mission-based brands and art from all over the world.” *1
[Booth of cosmetic brand sells organic products]
[Booth of subscription-type toothbrush brand]
As the direct-to-consumer (D2C) E-Commerce market continues to grow, physical retail stores are being transformed into destinations that pique consumer interest and offer a space for branding both companies and products. SHOWFIELDS was founded on the idea of creating more meaningful connections with the customers, constantly innovating and empowering artists and brands with flexible solutions via its proprietary digital and physical platform. Through its integrated platform, SHOWFIELDS provides the following services mainly to direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands without physical retail locations as well as to a wide range of other brands through its experience-based retail stores.
- Pioneering C-Commerce *2 putting the customer in the center of every strategic decision.
- Provides the RaaS (Retail as a Service) *3 for physical retail operations which includes flexible retail, curated retail designs, sales staff, POS systems *4, etc.
- Curates design-driven, multi-sensory physical retail spaces showcasing artwork by emerging artists to enhance each brand’s unique narrative
- Utilizes proprietary technology for its centralized customer analytics console
- Supports multiple sales channels, including online and offline stores
[SHOWFIELDS first flagship store in NoHo, NY]
[Booth of a brand presenting a “Dream Closet”]
In late 2018, SHOWFIELDS established its first flagship store in NoHo, New York. The company’s second flagship opened in Miami in the fall of 2020. By pursuing new partnerships with globally renowned mall operators and hotel groups, SHOWFIELDS is working to open new stores in major U.S. cities through sequential expansion. SHOWFIELDS also intends to bring its concept overseas, with plans to enter Japan’s retail market to increase its global sales channels and international locations. Sojitz’s recent investment in SHOWFIELDS will serve as a starting point for both companies to begin plans for joint business development in Japan.
[Artistic interior (slide) in New York Store]
[Artistic interior (slide) in Miami Store inspired by the sea]
Sojitz has over 20 years of experience in the development, investment, and management of shopping centers both in Japan and overseas. In terms of shopping center management, Sojitz established a business model based on the shift in consumer trends from the tangible (product-oriented) to the intangible (experience-oriented). By utilizing the company’s expertise in managing facilities, Sojitz seeks to add value to its stores and to other shopping centers. In recent years, the divide has narrowed between physical and digital retail, and consumers have evolved diverse objectives. Sojitz will therefore combine its know-how and Group network with the SHOWFIELDS business model to create and offer a new type of shopping center experience in Japan and abroad.
*1: This capital investment was executed through Sojitz’s corporate venture capital fund established in the United States in partnership with Pegasus Tech Ventures (Location: California, USA; Representative Partner & CEO: Anis Uzzaman) in January 2019.
*2: C-Commerce: e-commerce done via various means of conversation (live support on e-commerce Web sites, online chat using messaging apps, chatbots on messaging apps or websites, voice assistants) and using technology such as speech recognition, speaker recognition, natural language processing and artificial intelligence.
*3: RaaS（Retail as a Service: SHOWFIELDS provides business clients with retail services that cross technology with accumulated customer data and sales expertise.
*4: POS (Point of Sales) systems: A system to track information associated with each product (sales, inventory of product, time of sale, etc.) that is compiled and recorded in real time to better visualize sales information for use in sales planning and inventory management.
Company Overview – SHOWFIELDS, Inc.
|Head Office||New York, U.S.|
|Main Business||Operation of experience-based retail stores|