Cannabis Brands Want Their Own Store, CalEthos Deems it Essential
April 3rd, 2020
App, Exclusive, News, Top News
Cannabis Shelf Space Deemed Essential
What is the ideal setting for a brand to showcase its wares to the retail consumer? It is certainly not a crowded store with hundreds of brands competing for limited shelf space and consumer attention. Every brand out there would much rather have its own store, featuring its own product offerings, staffed by expert sales associates ready to educate consumers on the value of their products. In short, every brand would like its own version of the Apple Store or the Gap. Of course, every brand can’t afford to develop its own store, and cannabis licensing requirements often make the idea even more untenable.
CalEthos may have the answer for cannabis brands struggling to solve this problem. The company is currently financing the first of several planned cannabis superstores, appropriately called SHOWCASE, in Southern California. The concept is to provide partner cannabis brands their own space within a 20,000 sq. ft. SHOWCASE footprint, allowing them to fully display all that a brand has to offer. Each SHOWCASE location will also feature a medical pharmacy, an event center for community and consumer education, and a cafe and lounge areas to enhance the consumer experience and extend the shopper’s stay. Rather than the cramped, hurried environment common throughout retail cannabis, SHOWCASE promises to cater to both the customer and the brand in an elevated, inviting space.
CalEthos President Piers Cooper sat down with CFN Media to discuss the ideal setting for retailers to SHOWCASE their cannabis brand. Please click on the video below for the full story.
CalEthos Did the Homework
The two executives largely responsible for the CalEthos concept, CEO Michael Campbell and President Piers Cooper, have a long history in advising, building, and investing in companies both private and public. They kept bumping up against the emerging cannabis industry and decided to investigate, looking for opportunities arising from shortcomings in the young marketplace. They settled on retail, visiting a wide variety of stores and brands and talking to everyone involved, from the consumer to the staff to the product companies.
These investigations highlighted the problems listed above, both for the brand and for the consumer. Cannabis has been legalized, but many stores still carry a bit of a black-market vibe which is uninviting to newer cannabis consumers. Space is at a premium, as most dispensaries don’t have the capital to build large format stores or expand and upgrade existing stores. Budtenders are generally helpful, but they are usually limited to some personal advice about a brand they like before making the sale and moving on to the next in line.
From the brand side, it is almost impossible to build a loyal customer base under such conditions. With advertising options limited, brands don’t have anywhere to turn. A given dispensary may carry 5 out of the brand’s 50 SKUs, whilst those 5 products are generally displayed amongst many other brands with limited space or capability for differentiation.
Campbell and Cooper came away from their research knowing there had to be a solution that provided a better consumer experience while enabling product makers to actively engage and educate those consumers.
The SHOWCASE Solution
CalEthos enlisted the help of Stephen Brady, the man responsible for the design of numerous Ralph Lauren, Bloomingdales, Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic and other retail stores. Brady helped them realize the vision of an open, engaging, vital retail setting in which consumers are given space and options and educational opportunities. CalEthos is tuned in to the need to invite and educate ‘canna-curious’ consumers, and the SHOWCASE design enables that with event and education space along with lounge areas and a cafe. The concept is not turn and burn, though there is nothing stopping a customer from grabbing what they need and leaving quickly. Rather, the concept is explore and learn and enjoy. CalEthos believes consumers will gravitate to its model over the typical marijuana dispensary in the Southern California market.
The company already knows that brands will appreciate the opportunity to create their own stores-within-a-store. Brand partners can procure dedicated space under the SHOWCASE Brand Membership Program that ranges from a 10’ x 16’ boutique with 90’ of shelf space, to shared kiosks in specialty product sections with 21’ of shelf space per brand, to 18’ of refrigerated shelf space in the Chill Zone for edibles and beverages. The SHOWCASE design also features a pharmacy dedicated to medicinal cannabis products and to provide advice for consumers exploring alternative medical options offered by cannabis products. All spaces are staffed by associates who are highly trained on products sold in their display areas.
Overall, the concept is compelling and a refreshing change from the typical dispensary environment. Southern California, with its advanced legal market, huge population, and trend-setting reputation, is a prime location for the SHOWCASE concept. Investors interested in learning more about the opportunity are encouraged to follow the links. The future of cannabis retail awaits.
CEO Michael Campbell
President Frank Lane
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